EPSTEIN IN COURT… Billionaire financier Jeffrey Epstein pleaded not guilty yesterday in federal court on sex-trafficking and conspiracy charges. Te 66-year-old Epstein is accused of abusing dozens of underage girls. Geoffrey Berman, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, said at a press conference that federal agents found nude photos of victims as young as 14. Epstein’s arrest in New York on Saturday came nearly 12 years after he was given an unusually light sentence for allegedly molesting more than 100 underage girls. The FBI is encouraging possible victims to call the agency’s hotline. Meanwhile, Attorney General Bill Barr says he will recuse himself from anything involving the Jeffrey Epstein case due to previous relationships. Barr previously worked at a South Carolina law firm that had represented Epstein. Barr’s father also hired Epstein to teach at the private Dalton school, despite him not having a college degree.
CUOMO SIGNS BILL SEEKING TRUMP TAX RETURNS… New York Governor Andrew Cuomo yesterday approved two bills that allow the state to release President Trump’s tax returns if they are requested by the leaders of the three congressional tax-writing committees. Congressional panels previously were limited to filing a request for the state’s returns. The new legislation also applies to the president’s staff, cabinet officials from New York and state elected officials and judges.
TRUMP ANGRY AT BRITISH… President Trump expressed anger yesterday at British ambassador to the U.S. Kim Darroch and Prime Minister Theresa May. Trump claimed Ambassador Darroch is “not liked or well thought of within the U.S. We will no longer deal with him.” The president also criticized May over the Brexit standoff. In diplomatic cables leaked over the weekend, Darroch reportedly called Trump insecure, “clumsy, and inept.”
ELLIOTT BROIDY INVESTIGATED… Elliott Broidy, a top Republican fundraiser and ally of President Trump, is targeted in a federal grand jury’s investigation. Broidy has been accused of using his position as vice chairman of Trump’s inaugural committee to conduct business deals with foreign leaders. Investigators are trying to determine whether he violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which makes it illegal for U.S. citizens to offer foreign officials “anything of value” to gain a business advantage.
SWALWELL DROPS PRESIDENTIAL RUN… Congressman Eric Swalwell became the first 2020 Democratic presidential contender to withdraw from the party’s crowded race for the nomination. Swalwell said he plans to focus on his House re-election bid and his work on the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees. Former vice president Joe Biden, Senator Kamala Harris and Senator Elizabeth Warren are the leading Democratic candidates, according to recent polls.
KEVIN SPACEY TRIAL… A sexual assault case targeting Kevin Spacey stumbled out of the gate yesterday when the accuser invoked his Fifth Amendment rights after being questioned about evidence tampering. An attorney for the young man who claimed Spacey groped him in a Massachusetts bar initially said the accuser’s iPhone, which purportedly carried evidence, couldn’t be located. After Spacey’s defense attorney warned it was a felony to delete or alter any evidence, the accuser announced he’d invoke his right against self-incrimination.
SAMUEL L. JACKSON SIGNS ON TO ‘SAW’ SEQUEL… Samuel L. Jackson has joined Chris Rock in the cast of the upcoming “Saw” sequel. The story will center on a police detective, played by Rock, who investigates a series of grizzly crimes. Jackson will portray Rock’s father. “The Handmaid’s Tale” star Max Minghella and “Riverdale” also have roles in the film.
MLB HOME RUN DERBY… The New York Mets’ Pete Alonso outslugged Toronto’s Vladimir Guerrero Jr. to win the Home Run Derby in Cleveland last night. The victory earned Alonso a $1 million bonus. He said he would donate 10 percent of his winnings between the Wounded Warriors Project and the Tunnel to Towers Foundation.
MLB SCHEDULE… All-Star Game tonight in Cleveland, 7:30 p.m. Eastern, Fox
Atlanta Braves, 54-37, .593
Washington Nationals, 47-42, .528, 6 GB
Philadelphia Phillies, 47-43, .522, 6.5 GB
New York Mets, 40-50, .444, 13.5 GB
Miami Marlins, 33-55, .375, 19.5 GB
Chicago Cubs, 47-43, .522
Milwaukee Brewers, 47-44, .516, 0.5 GB
St. Louis Cardinals, 44-44, .500, 2 GB
Pittsburgh Pirates, 44-45, .494, 2.5 GB
Cincinnati Reds, 41-46, .471, 4.5 GB
Los Angeles Dodgers, 60-32, .652
Arizona Diamondbacks, 46-45, .505, 13.5 GB
San Diego Padres, 45-45, .500, 14 GB
Colorado Rockies, 44-45, .494, 14.5 GB
San Francisco Giants, 41-48, .461, 17.5 GB
New York Yankees, 57-31, .648
Tampa Bay Rays, 52-39, .571, 6.5 GB
Boston Red Sox, 49-41, .544, 9 GB
Toronto Blue Jays, 34-57, .374, 24.5 GB
Baltimore Orioles, 27-62, .303, 30.5 GB
Minnesota Twins, 56-33, .629
Cleveland Indians, 50-38, .568, 5.5 GB
Chicago White Sox, 42-44, .488, 12.5 GB
Detroit Tigers, 28-57, .329, 26 GB
Kansas City Royals, 30-61, .330, 27 GB
Houston Astros, 57-33, .633
Oakland Athletics, 50-41, .549, 7.5 GB
Texas Rangers, 48-42, .533, 9 GB
Los Angeles Angels, 45-46, .495, 12.5 GB
Seattle Mariners, 39-55, .415, 20 GB