I specifically chose this picture, because I like to think it looks like Prince Andrew and Queen Elizabeth are watching any hope Andrew had of ignoring the Jeffrey Epstein investigation float away into the sky forever. As much as Andrew has been trying not to talk to investigators about his former pal Jeff – and boy has he been trying – the Feds have gone ahead and issued a formal request to sit down and chat as soon as possible.
Because the investigation is happening in America with regards to an American citizen, Andrew wasn’t exactly cooperating because he didn’t techncially have to. Essentially, the Feds could ask for an interview, but Andrew was well within his rights as a British citizen to pretend his phone battery was dead, or he couldn’t come to the phone due to crumpet gas, or whatever. Well, not anymore. NBC News reports that a source says that Andrew has received a formal request for an interview with the prosecutors working on the criminal investigation into Jeffrey Epstein’s history of sexual abuse and alleged trafficking. And it sounds like an, “I’m not asking you, I’m telling you” situation.
Federal prosecutors issued the request through the British government, who will pass it on to Andrew. The request was made under something called a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty, or MLAT. It’s similar to a subpoena. And it’s actually very rare for Feds to obtain an MLAT. I guess maybe because it’s not too often that they’re investigating the suspicious death of an alleged sex trafficker and convicted sex offender, and one of the key witnesses is a World-famous prince who would rather choke down a pepperoni slice from Pizza Express than tell the truth about what he knows.
The MLAT move is actually one we (and Andrew) should have seen coming. Back in January, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Geoffrey Berman, claimed that Andrew wasn’t helping them in the least, and was refusing to talk to investigators, despite sources close to Andrew claiming that Andrew was more than happy to help the FBI with their investigation. In March, Geoffrey claimed that the FBI continued to contact Andrew, but he was giving them the run-around, and had effectively done everything possible to prevent “voluntary cooperation.” That same month it was reported that Andrew had hired a crisis management specialist whose sole job was to make sure the FBI didn’t get their interview.
Both the U.S. Attorney’s Office and Buckingham Palace refused to comment on the MLAT that was sent to Prince Andrew. And of course Prince Andrew has said nothing. But that’s not to say he’s been totally silent. The Sun reports that Prince Andrew was set to lose his $381,000 security detail last week during a Buckingham Palace budget meeting. Palace officials have been slashing budgets all over the palace in response to the lack of dollars coming in, due to COVID-19. One cost-cutting measure was for Andrew to start paying for his own security, but sources say he allegedly complained to Mummy, and she let him keep his security team. The total cost of his $381,000 bill is paid entirely by taxpayers. Not a bad gig. Imagine guarding a guy whose “job” solely consists of sitting on the couch and dodging phone calls?
To be fair to those security guards, this news of the FBI forcing Andrew to get involved means they’re about to work harder than they’ve ever worked before. Those bodyguards are going to have to work so hard not to full-body cringe when the FBI shows up and Andrew jumps into their arms, screaming, “Please please puhLEEEEASE don’t let them in!”