In Brief

Prince Andrew’s team ‘talked to US lobbyists’ linked to Donald Trump about Epstein scandal

Sources claim Washington lobbyist ‘expressed discomfort’ over aiding Duke of York

Lawyers representing Prince Andrew approached a US lobbyist with links to Donald Trump for help dealing with the ongoing fallout from the Jeffrey Epstein scandal, according to reports. 

A “person familiar with the circumstances” claims that the Duke’s London-based legal team has consulted in recent weeks with lobbyist Robert Stryk, but that “talks about the potential representation appear to have fizzled”, says The New York Times (NYT). 

Stryk reportedly “expressed discomfort about the possibility of assisting Prince Andrew”, despite his record of “taking on clients with unsavory reputations”.

Stryk “is well connected in Trump administration foreign policy circles” and has “developed a reputation in recent years for taking on clients other Washington lobbyists and consultants shy away from”, the newspaper adds.

His clients include Isabel dos Santos, “the daughter of the former Angolan president, who is accused of embezzling millions, and the government of Joseph Kabila, former president of the Democratic Republic of Congo, who has been sanctioned for human rights abuses”, says UK paper The Times.

The NYT reports that both the Royal’s legal team and Stryk have made no comment about the talks claims. 

But according to The Times, a source close to Andrew has refuted the reports, saying: “This looks like a lobbying firm advertising. No engagements have been made or sought.” 

The newspaper adds: “It is understood that an introductory conversation took place but it was not initiated by Prince Andrew’s team and went no further.”

Meanwhile, a close confidant of Epstein’s former ex-girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell told The Telegraph that the socialite “will ‘never’ offer any information about the Duke as part of a plea deal” following her arrest last week. New York prosecutors claim that Maxwell played a “critical role” in helping the late paedophile “identify, befriend and groom” victims, and took part in some of the abuse.   

“It is thought Ms Maxwell’s arrest could have significant implications for the Duke”, who was “reportedly introduced to the billionaire paedophile by her”, the paper says.

But Maxwell’s friend Laura Goldman, a former New York stockbroker, insists that while “the only way” the British socialite can walk free is “if she gives someone up” to investigators, “that definitely won’t be Andrew”. 

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