- Jeffrey Epstein is being charged with child sex trafficking by New York federal prosecutors.
- One of three lead prosecutors is former FBI Director James Comey’s daughter, Maurene.
- Here’s what we know about Comey, who has worked at the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York since 2014 and graduated from Harvard Law School in 2013.
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Well-connected financier Jeffrey Epstein has been charged with child sex trafficking and conspiracy by the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.
The registered sex offender has brought plenty of familiar faces along with him into the spotlight, including former associates President Donald Trump and Bill Clinton. But one newcomer is 30-year-old Maurene Comey – the daughter of former FBI director James Comey – who is one of the three lead prosecutors on the case.
Despite her father’s history of dominating the news cycle, Maurene Comey has largely stayed out of the spotlight, instead maintaining a low-profile legal career up until now.
Here’s what we know about the first daughter of law and order.
She’s currently an assistant US attorney in the Southern District of New York
Currently, Comey is an assistant US attorney in the Southern District of New York – one of the most prestigious federal prosecutors’ office nationwide.
She started in the office as a clerk in 2014, joined the office permanently in 2015, and is listed as one of three lead prosecutors handling the case against Epstein. Her leadership on such a high-profile case after four years with the office suggests a steady climb.
During her time as a prosecutor, she has handled a wide array of criminal cases, including those involving sex crimes allegedly committed against minors. In 2016, she led a case against an 18-year-old who the office accused of coercing a middle-school-aged girl to send him nude photographs over the app Kik, threatening to post other pictures of the girl.
According to a DOJ press release, prosecutors originally sought to convict the man of sexual exploitation of a minor, which carries a minimum 13-year-sentence. In 2018, the man plead guilty to the lesser charge of receipt of child pornography and was sentenced to 7 years in prison and 5 years supervised released, according to court documents reviewed by INSIDER.
Comey has also worked on: an ongoing case of a security guard accused of killing four others in White Plains, New York, where prosecutors are seeking the death penalty; a case against the treasurer of a volunteer fire department who embezzled over $5 million and was sentenced to over 6 years in prison; the successful conviction of a gang-member who opened fire on a Valentine’s Day party, killing one; and other gang-related cases.
Comey’s family affiliations have fueled baseless conspiracy theories
Conservative blogs and noted conspiracy theorists have baselessly claimed that Comey’s connection to her father and her alleged political affiliations are conflicts of interest, suggesting with no evidence that she could fix Epstein’s prosecution to either exonerate Clinton, who has been associated with Epstein, or to implicate Trump.
Comey’s only political donations were $233 to Hilary Clinton’s presidential campaign in 2015, according to campaign finance transparency site OpenSecrets.org. Her father said in an ABC interview that his wife and daughters “marched in the ‘Women’s March’ the day after President Trump’s inauguration,” and that he was “pretty sure” they all “wanted Hillary Clinton to be the first woman president.”
A caller on the July 9 Rush Limbaugh show, a noted platform for conspiracy theories, suggested that Comey would give Epstein a deal to implicate Trump, which Limbaugh said was worth pointing out. Judi McLeod of conservative blog Canada Free Press wrote a blog post suggesting the same.
On July 10, mainstream conservative publication The Federalist also suggested the Comey’s involvement could have something to do with Trump, saying, “Maurene Comey is the daughter of the self-appointed gatekeeper of America’s two-tiered justice system himself: former FBI director James Comey. Her involvement may also be a sign that Epstein’s fall has something to do with the man who fired the prosecutor’s father: Donald Trump.”
These claims and theories are have not been backed up with evidence.
Prior to her work with the US attorney, Comey attended Harvard Law School briefly worked for a large law firm
Prior to working with the US attorney’s office, Comey worked at large law firm Debevoise & Plimpton for a year.
The extent of her work at the firm isn’t clear, but an archived yearly report from the company lists her as working on a case where the firm argued for the Connecticut Coalition for Justice that the quality of education that the state provided to public school students violated the Constitution. Debevoise was successful, and a Connecticut Superior Court judge ordered the state to propose remedies within half a year, according to Yale Law School, which also worked on the case.
In 2012, Comey was listed as a research assistant for legal scholar and Harvard professor Daniel Meltzer on his article in The Duke Law Journal titled “Executive Defense of Congressional Acts.”
The article disputed the constitutionality of the now-defunct Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and DOMA laws, which discriminated against gay people, but argued for their theoretical enforcement by the executive branch. Meltzer would go on to serve as deputy counsel in the Obama administration for a little over a year before returning to Harvard.
Comey is also a notably good singer
Before her legal career began, Comey attended the College of William and Mary, where she studied history and music. Even before college she was a notably good singer, as exhibited in her performance of “Going to Heaven,” and by her participation in The Virginia Music Educators Association honors choir in 2005, according to the Washington Post.
Another video shows her performing Whitney Houston while in college.
This story was updated to include a quote from The Federalist.