This is a rush transcript of "The Five" on December 29, 2021. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
EMILY COMPAGNO, FOX NEWS HOST (on camera): Hello, everyone. I'm Emily Compagno along with Jason Chaffetz, Joey Jones, Leslie Marshall, and Tyrus.
It's five o'clock in New York City, and this is THE FIVE.
We have a Fox News alert. A verdict has finally been reached in the Ghislaine Maxwell trial. While we wait to get more details on that, we are going to take it around and get our thoughts on this really incredible case.
Ghislaine Maxwell faced six counts in her federal trial in New York related to what prosecutors say worker efforts to groom and traffic underage girls to be sexually abused by her then close companion Jeffrey Epstein.
Now she has pleaded not guilty to those six federal counts. Sex trafficking of a minor, enticing a minor to travel to engage in criminal sexual activity, transporting a minor with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, and three counts of conspiracy.
Now the charges all relate to testimony from four women who say that Maxwell facilitated their sexual abuse and sometimes participated in it as well. More than a decade ago, as far back as 1994, when they were under 18.
As the 83-page jury instructions explain, however, some of the women are more important to the charges than others because of their age at the time and because of their specific allegations.
Now Ghislaine Maxwell's defense sought the entire time to undermine the accuser's memories and motivations during cross-examination as well as through their largely unsuccessful motions before the federal judge. They argued prosecutors were trying to scapegoat Maxwell only because Epstein, the sex offender and elusive financier, died before he could stand trial.
Now if convicted on all of those six counts today, Maxwell, age 60, could face up to 70 years in prison.
Let's just get everyone's thoughts here starting with you, Jason Chaffetz. What are your thoughts on this?
JASON CHAFFETZ, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, we don't know the verdict, but we are about to know the verdict. You know, there were more than 100 women that came forward, and it will be interesting as it moves forward. If there is not a conviction and certainly all six of the counts, I think the prosecutors will get a lot of criticism that they relied so heavily on just four out of the more than 100 people that came forward.
I know there were 24 witnesses overall throughout the 10-day trial, but why focus on just the four when there were so many? That was the overwhelming case that they had against Maxwell, and there will be, I think a lot of criticism if they don't -- if they aren't able to secure conviction on all six counts, Emily.
COMPAGNO: Yes, that's a great point, Leslie, that Jason brings up. That there is a lot of, sort of, nuts and bolts and mechanics, especially with how far back these allegations go with what actually prosecutors could bring before a judge. So, it might not be as cut and dry as what we see in the court of public opinion in someone's tilt or innocence, Leslie.
LESLIE MARSHALL, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: I have to say it's rare that Jason and I agree 100 percent. I agree 100 percent with what we said. We had 100 witnesses, they are focusing on four, something that you talked about, Emily, which is essential as you know as an attorney, is the age. What was the age when this was taking place?
I have to say I originally thought this was going to be a slam-dunk. Hours ago, I got a bit nervous when I heard more defense witness testimony being asked for, being requested by the jury. We know there's a verdict, we don't know what that jury, that verdict is yet, but I have to agree with Jason.
I think there will be outrage if there isn't a conviction on the six counts in light of what we have all known, we the people who aren't sitting in the courtroom, but we the people that get that information report -- from reporters in the courtroom that are providing those details and from some of the women that have spoken up and from information and documentaries and news that is followed this before the trial began.
So, I would have to agree. It's terrible. I guess I could guess I can say this because I'm a talk show host, I opine, I'm a journalist who gives the facts. I'm hoping for these women, that there is a guilty verdict.
COMPAGNO: And Joey, there is no shortage of twists and turns in this federal trial, albeit not before the camera and not live. For example, two additional charges we know will be tried later. That's her accounts of perjury against Ghislaine Maxwell and also, I thought the defenses are frankly laughable motion to try to have their defense witnesses be unnamed, be anonymous before the judge, that they sort of claims the same privilege that prosecutorial witnesses claim to protect their identity.
And here it just seemed like there were some, frankly, clownish behavior that was engaged in by her defense that as my colleagues says here. I mean, all that matters really is what was provable in court.
JOHNNY JOEY JONES, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Absolutely. And I think one thing that kind of bothers me the most is this idea that her defense took this line of we were just coming after our client because the real culprit here killed himself in prison and you don't have a chance to do that.
No, we are coming after your client because her actions led to or were a part of, and the prosecution's case, vile acts towards young girls, towards little girls in my opinion. Towards adolescent girls.
And so, the point they are being if she is found guilty, I hope not only the four brave women who got to testify, but also that I guess nearly 100 others, have an opportunity to feel like their voice was heard and the wrong things done to them, the public understands it and that they have an opportunity to move forward.
I think that's what's most important to me with a daughter of own, it's hard for me to believe this woman isn't guilty, it's hard for me to believe that, you know, what, I mean, negligence at best. I mean, these things were happening in front of her. She maybe isn't found guilty on participating in it, that is not enough for me.
If these things are true, and I believe they are, and she is found guilty, I hope the other victims have an opportunity to feel vindicated as well.
COMPAGNO: That's absolutely right. And Tyrus, I think despite the overwhelming or seemingly overwhelming amount of evidence that we have been, sort of, treated to in this, again, court of public opinion, what always matters is just within that four corner, and their defense fought vigorously to discredit some of these witnesses, including Jeffrey Epstein's former house manager that they argued he stole from him and this is why he shouldn't be believed.
But to Joey's point, you know, what matters the heart of this trial is what happened to those victims, the allegations of the severe sexual abuse across state lines that went on for literally decades, and it sort of, we hope conceptually that true justice will be served and that that is the forest for the trees over the nuts and bolts of the legal system, Tyrus.
GEORGE 'TYRUS' MURDOCH, FOX NEWS POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: You know, a couple of things, and I guess I'll be the devil's advocate here, when I look at you had 100 witnesses, and you are only using four? I think that kind of plays into the hand of the defense attorneys because you are still going to make mention of, they only have -- out of this 100, we only have this or the 24, whatever. Those windows are open.
Also, I don't think it hurts that she is a woman in the situation because I think if this was Epstein, it would be a very different way of looking at this, it would be more outrage, it would be more screaming and yelling about his actions. And his actions were deplorable, disgusting, and he was able to get away with it for decades, you know.
And because he had money and a smile, he was able to continue on these escapades. And more and more we are seeing as time goes on how many people were complicit. Not just her, you know, I think personally there is no way that she did not know what was going on.
MURDOCH: There is no way that she was not the one that smoothed it over and was the one that talked to them before and explain the rules and try to make them feel safer if, you know, 100 percent. She had to do those things. She was in a relationship with him.
Every picture you see of them together they are hugging each other and they are so madly in love and they support each other so much. But when it came to him and young girls, that's when she decided to go to the other room. Absolutely not.
But there is a lot of -- there is a lot of things in these case as I look at it, I try to withhold my personal judgment till the verdict comes up, because I think a lot of times we jump the gun and then we get a verdict and we want to scream and cry about it but we need to look at the facts.
MURDOCH: I think it is, but at the same time, I do see some holes where she could maybe get convicted three of the six or possibly walk which is discussing to the families but you have to look at it for what it is.
COMPAGNO: Tyrus, excuse me, sorry for that pause. We have the verdict now. We have a guilty verdict on five --
MURDOCH: Well, there you go.
COMPAGNO: -- of the six charges. On counts one, guilty. That's conspiracy to entice an individual under the age of 17 to travel in interstate commerce with intent to engage in illegal sexual activity. That was the most -- that was the five years in prisons.
Count two, this is the not guilty. Enticement of an individual under the age of 17 to travel with intent to engage in illegal sexual activity. State maximum five years. So, guilty of conspiracy, not guilty of the enticement itself, and then counts three, four, five, and six are all guilty, conspiracy to transport individuals under the age of 17, a minor, to travel in interstate commerce with intent to engage in illegal sexual activity, transportation of an individual under the age of 17 with intent to engage in illegal sexual activity, sex trafficking conspiracy, and sex trafficking of an individual under the age of 18, a minor. Count six. That brings with it a maximum of 40 years in prison.
Ghislaine Maxwell found guilty on five of her six federal charges tonight. Five of the six means she could face a total of 65 years in prison. That is Ghislaine Maxwell on your screen right there. That tonight was found guilty by a federal jury on five of six counts, including transportation of an individual under the age of 17 with intent to engage in illegal sexual activity, in sex trafficking, and in sex trafficking conspiracy.
Jason Chaffetz, your thoughts on these five of six guilty verdicts return there.
CHAFFETZ: You know, the best belief I have in the justice system is the jury, and the jury listen to it and they came to this conclusion and hallelujah. There are a lot of women who went through hell, and I hope they feel some sense of justice.
I don't think it will ever make up for the hideous nature in which this, what was done to her that Jeffrey Epstein and Ms. Maxwell did is just one of the most disgusting things you can imagine for these young women. But I'm glad she is going to essentially spend the rest of her life in jail.
And I hope that it is a, it is a good hope for those that have suffered these types of injustices, that have been assaulted, whether it's by themselves in an alley or whatever it might be, that justice can prevail. It's hard for these women. I can't even imagine what it's like to come forward and have to testify.
I hope the 100 or so that didn't testify are able to speak or show the judge and talk to the judge in the sentencing phase if they want to come forward and talk about this.
But there is also a lot more to the story. This guy didn't get prosecuted earlier and it seemed like he probably should have and there are of other people that were complicit. And if the federal government is going to do their job they need to go after those people as well.
COMPAGNO: All right, for more in this developing case, let's go to Alexis McAdams, our reporter outside the federal courthouse in New York City right now. Alexis.
ALEXIS MCADAMS, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Emily, that's right. Well, we have been waiting here for several days standing by for any developments. Today it was so quiet. The judge had told the jury she wanted them to stick around at least through six o'clock today due to major COVID concerns. She wanted to move things along as quick as possible without pushing them too much.
And they did come to a decision in the last 20 minutes or so as you all just read. Guilty, Ghislaine Maxwell, on five out of six counts here. That coming out of that federal courthouse behind me just moments ago. As we go through six counts guilty, and all of them except for count two, which as we know is enticing a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts which carries a minimum sentence of five years in prison.
That was the charge that those jurors in that room even asked for a white board, some markers, and highlighters that they went and ask the judge to please clarify what enticement meant on those charges. And this comes after about 40 hours of deliberation today on day six, that verdict finally coming out here.
The judge telling the jurors that with that astronomical spike in COVID cases in New York, she wanted things to move along, she was worried that one of those jurors was going to have to go into quarantine which would definitely disrupt the trial.
The jury did have several questions just today, there was a few notes that were sent out as well but in the past during those deliberations including the holiday break that happened, they had asked 13 questions to the judge sending out those notes, asking for more testimony, asking to see some more of that evidence.
So, a lot of us out here wondering if it was going to happen especially because they ended yesterday around five o'clock when she asked them to stay an extra hour and saying, hey, I think we're in a good spot, we're going to head home for the night.
And the jurors still had a lot of questions even though today prosecutors telling them that she had groomed and trafficked underage girls to be sexually abused by her former boyfriend, Jeffrey Epstein, and after that long holiday weekend, they came back asking for the testimony from all four accusers and wanting the judge once again to clarify that definition of enticement.
The jurors were deliberating for hours but finally coming out and we had so many people that were on, channel as well talking about and legal experts saying as the time continued to pass, Emily, they were saying well, this could be good for the defense because it looks like, you know, they were having a lot of questions still at this point.
But that jury making the decision here after 40 hours of deliberations, rather, in Manhattan inside of that federal court. Guilty, Ghislaine Maxwell now on five out of six charges.
COMPAGNO: Alexis, thank you for that wrap-up, and I wanted to circle back with you on one thing that you mentioned. So, as the jury asked questions during their deliberative process, they kept asking questions, one of the transcripts that they asked for was that of the, quote, "memory expert" the defense brought.
This is a famous psychological expert testimony witness that has testified in every trial from O.J. Simpson to Bill Cosby and Ted Bundy, Fred (Ph) Durst. What was the tenor when the jury came back and ask for that transcript in the courtroom and amongst the pool of reporters that people expect a verdict that might not go the way that it went tonight, Alexis?
MCADAMS: Yes, I think it just depends, you know, on who you ask and how long people were in there just watching things move along with that was really interesting. That was the first time they'd asked for testimony and transcript of the defenses witness. That came today.
As you mention, that expert said that when people go through trauma that they can sometimes remember things, even though they are very vivid, as completely different than really what happens. So, when they did ask for that today, I'm sure many people in the courtroom and people who have been watching this case from all over the country and all over the world, Emily, thought how are things going to be play out here.
But guilty right now, Ghislaine Maxwell coming out of that federal court just moments ago. We also saw her family members showing up here. And I don't know if you can see so much over my shoulder here, but as we mentioned, it was silent out here. I mean, media people are sitting in their cars just waiting and waiting and then all of a sudden when we obviously heard that there was a verdict, people were all over this place and that's when we saw the Maxwell family as well.
COMPAGNO: Alexis, thank you so much for that. We are now going to bring in former Justice Department prosecutor Jim Trusty who joins us there. Jim, thank you for joining us right now.
Tell us your thoughts topline on Maxwell being guilty on five of her six federal charges tonight.
JIM TRUSTY, FORMER JUSTICE DEPARTMENT PROSECUTOR: A couple of things, Emily. The first is that even though this took a while, and the jury had a lot of questions, they struck me as being a cohesive group. You know, they were asking questions it.
It sounded like they were very comfortable methodically plowing through the evidence and hearing each other out. It was really no sign of them being deadlocked or struggling from the outside. So, I'm not totally shocked that we have a verdict today.
The other thing is, you know, what drives the sentencing in the federal system is not going to be the maximum penalty or even the exact constellation of charges. It's going to be the sentencing guidelines. And when I did just a very quick kind of cocktail napkin review of the guidelines, it's very quick to get them up to an offense level of 34, which translates to about 12 and a half to 15 and a half years of non-parolable time as a guideline for these offenses. And it could get higher than that.
So, she is looking at a weighty sentence. There's going to be a lot of fighting about those guidelines, but it's going to be pretty inescapable that it should carry a lot of time.
COMPAGNO: Jim, it's, I mean, humorous is not the right word, but when you talk about that she's facing 65 years, but practically speaking it's only 12. I mean, that seems not a lot for the weight, the gravitas of the six federal charges that she was found guilty of that include enticing minors across state lines to engage in illegal sexual criminal acts. Do you think that that sentence would seem disappointing after, again, the weight of these five guilty counts?
TRUSTY: Yes. I mean, the guidelines are just the starting point, they're not the end point anymore like thy used to be in the old days. So, there is room for a judge to vary upwards, to go higher up. And one of the things that struck me about this trial and one of the things I think is important for the jury was that the enticement was not literally just enticement, persuasion, you know, talking.
The testimony of the women about her role in the offense included her sexually abusing them. So, it was a very active, very aggressive, very criminal level of culpability that Ms. Maxwell had just beyond just enticement. That's the type of thing that can aggravate the sentence that allows the judge to go higher.
But again, we fall into the trap of talking about maximum penalties like that's always the starting point and it rarely is. So, I think you're going to look at a weighty sentence but probably not something to the tune of 50 or 60 years.
COMPAGNO: Jason Chaffetz has a question for you, Jim.
CHAFFETZ: Jim, what did you, obviously the prosecutors have to be pleased getting five out of the six counts to get to a guilty, but what did you think of the strategy by the prosecutors to only bring four of the victims. I know there are 24 witnesses but the actual victims themselves it seems like a bit of a risky strategy, but may be obviously, you know, given the verdict, the prosecutors could say they've made the right decision.
TRUSTY: Yes. I mean, it's always easy afterwards, right? To announce that we were definitely the smartest people in the room. But look, I think it's a great question. I think there is a little bit of a turning point, a point of diminishing returns, and you know, we had this issue with the Cosby trial too. Like how many victims are going to be allowed in.
And the key is multiple victims are certainly self-bolstering. They make the case a lot easier for the government when it's not simply one person giving a story like this. So, four certainly seem to work well here.
The other thing I would just tell you from a defense perspective, when you get into dozens of witnesses testifying about similar incidents, there is room for inconsistencies. It may not be anything nefarious, it may just be that they have different memories, different abilities to perceive things, but even the blind squirrel starts finding a nut when you get up to 10 or 15 or 20 witnesses talking about the same thing.
They will discover inconsistencies to argue reasonable doubt to the jury when you get that kind of high number of witnesses.
COMPAGNO: Jim, we have a statement of U.S. Attorney Damian Williams on this verdict which reads a unanimous jury has found Ghislaine Maxwell guilty of one of the worst crimes imaginable, facilitating and participating in the sexual abuse of children, crimes that she committed with her longtime partner and conspirator, Jeffrey Epstein.
The road to justice has been far too long, but today, just as has been done. I want to commend the bravery of the girls, now grown women, who stepped out of the shadows and into the courtroom. Their courage and willingness to face their abuser made this case and today's result possible.
I also want to thank the career prosecutors of the Southern District of New York who embraced the victim's quest for justice and have worked tirelessly day in and day out to ensure that Maxwell was held accountable for her crimes. This office will always stand with victims, will always follow the facts wherever they lead, and we'll always fight to ensure that no one, no matter how powerful and well-connected is above the law.
That was the statement of U.S. attorney Damian Williams on the verdict in the Ghislaine Maxwell case, Jim. And what's interesting about that is that it reflects squarely on the culpability and accountability of Ghislaine Maxwell herself.
As you said she participated herself physically in the abuse. It's part of the insidious nature of the enticement and what was encapsulated within that. And that begs the larger question that Jason brought up earlier, which was, do you see any type of additional work to prosecute, to go after those others who were complicit, or do you see that the buck stops on her shoulders, will the public be able to look forward to more being held accountable or do you see ending now here today, Jim?
TRUSTY: Yes, that's a great crystal ball question, Emily. And I don't know is the short answer. But look, I will tell you this. A lot of career prosecutors that I know that have specialized in child abuse or sex offense cases are very keen on going after the John's as well, as they call them, the men that participated in the sexual acts with these young women or sometimes children.
And so, yes, the natural tendency for prosecutor is to keep going. And frankly, there is even a possibility of Maxwell still cooperating. Partly because she didn't testify and complicate things by perjuring herself.
So, there is still room for the investigation to roll forward to try to tie in to may be very high-profile individuals that hung out with Epstein at Orgy Island and we'll have to take a wait and see. Maybe they've been trying that, maybe they have already resigned themselves to this being the end game.
There is certainly a high level of culpability from Ms. Maxwell but it is a shame if they walk away from the possibility of pursuing other people too.
COMPAGNO: Johnny Joey Jones, do you have a question for Jim?
JONES: Yes. Jim, you know, you kind of just hit on exactly what I wanted to ask about not being a lawyer of any kind myself. I've been kind of relegated to interpreting documentaries and now what we've seen about this try play out.
But I guess, you know, my biggest question is you do have a lot of high- profile individuals who have been either outright accused like Prince Andrew or kind of brought in to the public eye on this.
And I guess my question is, what sentencing happen, say it is a 50-year sentence. Could that, does she still have the opportunity to, I guess, turn evidence and testify against others to reduce her sentence or does this guilty verdict kind of solidify whatever that sentence becomes?
TRUSTY: Yes. And that's a great question. Look, there is still a mechanism under the federal rules to actually allow for reduction of sentences based on cooperation. Federal rule of criminal procedure 35 and some offices use it more frequently than others. Some offices might say hey, she went to trial, we're done with her.
But other times because she didn't testify, they might at least entertain having a proffer where they sit down and listen to her and see what you might be able to do in terms of moving an investigation forward. So legally, the mechanism is still there.
It's really a question of the prosecutors and the U.S. Attorney's office in the Southern District of New York, whether they already had any proffers with her which we don't know, that were failed, of if they are willing to listen or again if she is even willing to do it.
So, there is a bunch of if's, but practically, there's at least a possibility that at some point after her sentencing, she would be a government witness and would be looking at a potential for some sort of reduction in that sentence.
COMPAGNO: Jim, Leslie has a question for you. Leslie Marshall.
MARSHALL: Hi, Jim. I had two questions, actually Jason asked my first about the victims, but secondly to the victims, as a victim of sex crimes, I always look at situations like this being a positive in making it easier for people in the future to come forward for those that feel that they are going to be victimized again or demonized by defense, that the system will work and that it will be a waste of time. Can you speak to that briefly?
TRUSTY: Yes, that's a great point. I mean, and look, I've handled this as a prosecutor back in the day. I certainly handled sex offense cases not of the profile of this type of case, and you always had this dynamic of reluctance, sometimes compounded by cultural divides, language divides, you know, intelligence issues, all sorts of things that make these very tough cases.
And I to say that it is, there is no such thing as perfect closure. These victims are still carrying scars that they will carry for the rest of their days. But there is something about the reversal of power that's a good thing. You know, when the people that are sitting in the defendant's chair have to sweat out the powerful testimony of these long-victimized young women. It's a great moment.
So, I hope it has that kind of universal effect. I don't know if there is any way to perfectly measure this, but it is a good message that, again, the criminal justice system, for all of its flaws, for all of its imperfections, it can get it right a lot. And in a case like this to know that in the highest of profile cases, that these victims were listened to, believed and supported these convictions, that's a good moment.
COMPAGNO: Jim, we have a question for you from Tyrus.
MURDOCH: You know, how are you, Jim.
TRUSTY: Hey, good.
MURDOCH: You know, one of the things that popped in my head, because I think the word conspiracy is really apropos because she conspired to set up these things and was a willing participant and I think it was a slam-dunk for the prosecution.
One of the things that does concern me in this new era of pandemics and COVID effect, I keep hearing the judge was concerned about COVID, he was concerned about a breakout, was concerned about a juror. Is there a leg for an appeal here saying the jury was rushed, that they would try to push something like that, that COVID cause the jury not to look at all the facts long enough for her, can you see something like this start to happen in our courtrooms?
TRUSTY: Yes. I mean, look, I think the appeal is going to be uphill. When it comes to managing the jury and their deliberations, you're talking about an abuse of discretion standard, which means the judge, the trial judge has to really do something pretty bad to get reversed on appeal.
But you know, the timing of this is interesting in that she basically let them know hey, guys, I'd rather you stay longer because COVID is on the horizon, we might have some problems with you, and you're going to have to sit through New Year's Eve, New Year's Day. All of a sudden, we got a verdict.
So, it's going to make its way into the defense brief I would think, but that doesn't really give it enough, enough legs to necessarily win. So, yes, there is always an issue when it comes to things like jury selection and also the deliberations and decisions about whether or not the jury is sequestered. I think this could make its way into a brief, but I don't think it's going to be all that powerful to the circuit.
COMPAGNO: Jim Trusty, thank you as always for your amazing expertise. We appreciate it.
TRUSTY: Sure. Good talking to you guys.
COMPAGNO: Great talking to you. All right. Let's bring former federal prosecutor Brett Tolman. Joining us now. Hi, Brett. Thank you so much. What are your topline thoughts?
BRETT TOLMAN, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: Well, a couple of things. It's not surprising that they acquitted on the one. I think that often there are jurors that will go back and forth on one particular charge and have issues with it.
But you need to keep one thing in mind about the federal system that really hasn't mentioned much. And that is you have to win on all counts or you lose on all. And the meaning is, if you get acquitted, you are still going to be sentence from the one that you are acquitted on.
In the federal system, the prosecutors will now focus on everything that was done, and they will be able to sentence Ms. Maxwell on the acquitted conduct, the convicted conduct, and on those they didn't even charge. And that's mind-boggling, but that's something the dirty little secret about federal criminal cases.
COMPAGNO: And Brett, part of our larger conversation we've been having is sort of the culpability of those that engage in this, in this pattern, the fact that it existed because there were a lot of people who were complicit, it existed because there were people with power, and there were those without.
And after a lot of these sort of breaking open cases, the Me Too movement, the Catholic abuse scandal, there were task forces that were convened by the federal judiciary that sort of explored and had the purpose of eradicating any like-minded circles like this.
So, do you see there being a sort of formalized response after this case, after the guilty verdict on five of these six counts tonight for Ghislaine Maxwell, do you see the DOJ responding with some type a similar task force or similar formalized approach to try to eradicate this in the future?
TOLMAN: Yes. We have seen that the Department of Justice has become more and more political, and the concern that many of us have is that the department's judgment is thrown out, based on, you know, the politics of the time of the particular target of an investigation.
I mean, look what we still don't know whether charges are going to be brought on the laptop of Hunter Biden. We know it's being investigated in other states by U.S. attorneys, but we've heard nothing. So, the public really wants to know if they're going to get back to bringing, you know, justice no matter who the defendant is and focusing on the victims.
And in this case, I think it's a strong message that they are going to pursue these types of cases no matter how large and no matter who is involved. But I hope that this isn't the end of this investigation.
COMPAGNO: Brett, Tyrus has a question for you.
TYRUS: You know -- thank you, Brett. When you look at communities --
TOLMAN: Hi, Tyrus.
TYRUS: When you -- when you look at in this country how we look at wealth and how we put those things on a table, what messages would you give to communities to where we can start to let our kids know especially our young women that there are no -- there are no pots of gold and there's no quick fixes and if someone invites you someplace nice and going to pay you extra to do a job that normally wouldn't get paid, how do we go about making that to where it's more discussed at the dinner table?
Or you see public officers take the time to talk to young people about these things, how do we -- because yes, this is great but look how long this took. Look at the totality of the people's lives that were ruined why they continued this for decades. How do we get our young people or our communities or our parents and families to start paying attention to signs when they see these kinds of people that come into their life smiling with promises of all kinds of money and opportunity?
TOLMAN: Yes, I think you hit one of the -- you know, the big important things that my wife and I focus on. We have five children. We have two daughters that, you know, you worry about them. You worry about the interactions in this world of social media and you know the immediacy of the internet and you worry also though about this quest for fame and power and money and it does produce predators and we see them out there.
I prosecuted the kidnapper of Elizabeth Smart, Brian David Mitchell, and I will always remember that there are predators. And we need to teach our children to be on their guard, to always you know, be sensitive. And if something doesn't seem or feel right, it's probably not.
COMPAGNO: We have a question for you from Jason Chaffetz, Brett.
CHAFFETZ: Brett, you're probably best known for your prosecution of the Elizabeth Smart case where there was one victim. But I want to ask you what I was asking the other prosecutor earlier, Jim Tracy, which is as you look at this case were there mistakes made by the prosecution or by the defense -- and what about this question -- I mean they got five of the six counts as guilty, so they're going to say they did everything right. But should they have brought forward more witnesses? Was it risky to bring just forward four of the more than 100 victims in this case?
TOLMAN: Yes, Jason, it is surprising that they really only settled on the four. Now, keep in mind they may be looking at, you know, statute limitations issues or there may be other factors so I want to cut them some slack. But typically, you try to include as many of the victims as you can because you never know what's going to happen on the defense side.
And it was sufficient enough for them and maybe it was the expert that talked about the fallacy of memory, maybe it was some of the other efforts by the defense, but you never know. And so, it's one of those things where the stakes are so high. It's really not worth gambling on.
They did get five out of the six. They also know that if they get one out of the six, they'll be able to sentence Miss Maxwell on all of them. I mean she's looking at the potential of the rest of her life in federal prison depending on how it goes at the sentencing.
COMPAGNO: Brett, we just have a statement from the attorney Brad Edwards who represented five dozen of Maxwell-Epstein victims and -- of the Ghislaine Maxwell-Jeffrey Epstein victims. He said, "This is the right verdict. Without Ghislaine, Jeffrey would have been a sexual predator without victims on which to perpetuate his sick crimes. She created the monster that hurt so many people. And this jury finally delivered these victims' justice."
Brett, I find it interesting that back to our conversation as well about the really insidious nature of a female that poses such a threat when to young girls they're supposed to be a type of safety for an older woman. And here she was being the lure, being so much more than just a "honey pot" but she was actually enticing these young women with a false sense of security and then engaging in that sexual abuse herself.
And it seems here by the words of the attorney that he found her reprehensible conduct and that now accountability resting squarely on her shoulders, Brett.
TOLMAN: Yes, it reminds me of when I -- when I spoke to Elizabeth Smart about her ordeal, she was almost more upset and angry at Wanda Barzee because she was another woman that would -- she thought should have looked out for. Here it is that -- it's that side of this crime that is so aggravating.
And I think she's -- you know, the victims in this case, they understand the role that Ms. Maxwell played. And without her, I think it's accurate that you don't have the types of assaults that occurred. And it's a tragedy, but it's also, I think, a reflection of how predators will use what they have available in order to, you know, go after some of these young women.
COMPAGNO: And that the predators include those often females that work at their behest. Brett Tolman, thank you for your expertise and your insight tonight. Very valuable.
TOLMAN: Thank you.
COMPAGNO: You are watching live coverage of the aftermath. Ghislaine Maxwell found guilty of five of the six federal charges against her in her efforts to groom and traffic underage girls. She was found guilty of five of the six federal accounts, including sex trafficking of a minor, enticing a minor to travel to engage in criminal sexual activity, transporting a minor, and counts of conspiracy.
Let's bring back our reporter Alexis McAdams standing outside the federal courthouse in New York City. Alexis.
ALEXIS MCADAMS, FOX NEWS CHANNEL CORRESPONDENT: Emily, lots of activity outside of the courtroom as we wait to see who could walk out of that federal courthouse next. Ghislaine Maxwell found guilty of five out of six federal charges here in this child sex trafficking investigation that went on for quite some time.
It was a three-week trial here in Manhattan in about 40 hours of deliberations here. We weren't sure if we were going to hear from the jury. The judge had been talking to those jurors, 12 jurors, six men and six women here in New York, telling them that as this went on, she had major concerns about the rise in COVID cases here in New York.
She thought possibly those COVID cases could disrupt this trial, but it ended tonight and did not have to go past day six of jury deliberations. Maxwell was facing six federal charges including child sex trafficking and sex trafficking conspiracy charges. Prosecutors that said she groomed and trafficked underage girls to be sexually abused by her former boyfriend, Jeffrey Epstein.
Now, this was not really a slam dunk right away. These people were in there, as we said, for several hours going back and forth coming back from that long holiday break, Emily, and then asking for a piece of white paper board, markers, pens, highlighters, so they could go back through the six counts one by one.
And the second count out of the six that she was not found guilty on, the only count was count two. That was the one that the jurors had several questions about sending out one of those notes asking the judge, in this case, to please clarify what enticement meant directed to that charge.
And Maxwell's family has been here in the courtroom. They were here yesterday, walking outside after jury deliberations wrapped a little bit earlier than expected, talking to the media, even handing over pizza to some people, then taking off today. We saw them back out here again. And I'm sure it's going to be a lot different of a reaction as they were waiting yesterday and talking to some of the media.
Now, during that more than two weeks of graphic testimony that we heard at the court, heard from for women who say they were underage when Maxwell tricked them into being sexually abused by Jeffrey Epstein. And so much of what we heard inside of that courtroom was really heartbreaking. I mean, these girls saying they were 14 years old when they were forced to reportedly, you know, be abused by Jeffrey Epstein inside of his home in Florida.
If Maxwell which she was convicted of those five out of six charges, she's was facing up to 70 years, knowing that she didn't get count two or to be about 65 years that she had been -- that she will be facing. She did plead not guilty, though, to all of those six counts. And this was just a long trial here and a lot went on. And it's going to be interesting to see how it plays out here after this.
COMPAGNO: Alexis, great reporting. And Johnny Joey Jones has a question for you now.
JOHNNY JOEY JONES, FOX NEWS CHANNEL CONTRIBUTOR: Yes, Alexis, it looks it looks like there's a pretty big crowd behind you. I think it looks even bigger than the last time we heard from you. Was there any sort of audible reaction when the verdict was read? Was there people speaking? Are there any victims perhaps out there, something like that?
MCADAMS: You know, not yet. But we'll have to see that play out. There has been people, though, that have been walking by and asking like, hey, what's going on? Because earlier today, it was like a pin -- you could hear a pin drop out here. There was nobody around. There's just the media cars. People just waiting and waiting.
And most people didn't think it was going to come today because it got down to, you know, around 5:00 when they've been saying that they want to leave. And so, people are asking now like, well, what's going on? What's this trial? And when they hear now, oh, it's going Maxwell trial, which people from all over the country, all over the world know about this trial, know about Jeffrey Epstein and all these charges and all these big names that came up during this investigation.
People are saying, well, you know, hopefully, that this will bring justice to those victims that said they really went through so many things.
COMPAGNO: Alexis, Leslie Marshall has a question for you now.
LESLIE MARSHALL, FOX NEWS CHANNEL CONTRIBUTOR: Hi, Alexis. It's interesting you say slam dunk because a lot of people would say this is a victory but not a slam dunk because that second count of enticement that Mr. Maxwell was not found guilty. Has the prosecution spoken about this, about their victory, and specifically the second count not bringing that slam dunk to their table?
MCADAMS: You know, we're still waiting to hear just general reaction. They did -- you know, we have had some statements that have come out. There's been people saying that ,you know, they are glad with this verdict. They still think more justice needs to be done, more things need to be changes in general in the criminal justice system. But we're still waiting to hear exact reaction coming here out of the federal courthouse in Manhattan.
As you mentioned, there's just a heavy presence now of people waiting to see anybody come out. There's also another exit as well, which is where we've know that the people are taken out, the jury and those -- the jurors, the 12 jurors. But coming out of here should be some of those lawyers and then possibly going Maxwell's family. We'll have to see if anybody is willing to talk.
COMPAGNO: Alexis, we're getting reports there has been no date for sentencing yet. Can you confirm no date for sentencing?
MCADAMS: That is correct.
MCADAMS: That is what we're hearing too. Yes, no -- Emily, no date for sentencing just yet. And then talking to -- you know, we were in and out of the courtroom today, but our reporter who's in there as well was sending out some notes saying that, you know, Maxwell appeared to sit still facing forward as that verdict was read.
Around 5:00, after it was done, she poured herself some water, they were writing, into a paper cup. And you know, there really wasn't a big reaction. I think people were probably expecting to see or maybe put her hands in, you know, on her head or look down, or there really wasn't much going on inside of the court which people might have expected.
But this is so different because covering the Kyle Rittenhouse case, and that seeing what happened to Kim Potter trial, everyone was able to see what happened inside of that courtroom. And this, you see a couple of sketches, you hear from people who have been in the courtroom, and kind of the lack of action.
And so, really, it just has -- people have been watching it from all over the world and waiting to hear what was going to happen. But we haven't had really eyes so much inside the courtroom like with so many other cases since it's a federal trial.
COMPAGNO: Right. And I have to say, Alexis, that with that limited media exposure Ghislaine Maxwell has had, she hasn't really struck us -- struck us as some type of sort of colorful personality, right? She's been more of a stoic, reserved figure from what we've seen of her in those media engagement and interactions. We have a question for you from Tyrus now.
TYRUS: I kind of -- I was very curious about sentencing. I'm assuming that she's going to remain in custody until sentencing. Your gut feeling on how many weeks we're looking at for sentencing, because there was the COVID monster was mentioned in terms of slowing things down and possibly messing things up. In your experience, how long you think it's going to be to actually see some sentencing?
MCADAMS: Yes, I mean, we'll have to see how it plays out. The judge definitely, Tyrus, had said that she wants to move things along, but was very careful in trying to pressure the jury to make a decision. But just in March of 2020, the same judge who was presiding over the Maxwell case, actually had to put one of her trials at that point, a very serious trial as well, over to one of those jurors that got sick. He had to communicate via Zoom.
So, I mean, they were just had a lot of concerns about that happening here. But in terms of sentencing, I think they're going to want to move things along as quickly as it can be moved along in federal court.
COMPAGNO: Alexis, quick, final question. You mentioned that Ghislaine Maxwell's family who was present during the course of the trial and her two --her two sisters, especially, were there every day and were vocal supporters of her, that they passed out pizza to the crowds outside.
Were they just passing it out to the reporter pool? Where they passing it out to -- tell us more about that. I've never heard of that.
MCADAMS: It was it was interesting. I don't know they -- you know, because they've been waiting so long for things to wrap on their own, they just got themselves a pizza, then they had a couple extra or what was going on. But they walked down yesterday and smiled and it was her sister and talked to a few people, and then said who's hungry, if you guys want pizza?
And obviously, everyone was asking, like, what do you think, and trying to get the reaction, and they just, you know, we're not going to basically say anything. But if you want, you know, pizza, they were handing it out and then they took off.
And so, today, we have to just see what the reaction is going to be if they're going to want to talk, if they're going to want to have any media reaction at all. But yes, it was it was different, definitely different.
COMPAGNO: Alexis McAdams, thank you so much for your reporting. We will talk to you shortly there in front of the federal courthouse in New York City. We're going to take it back to the panel here on THE FIVE. Leslie Marshall, let's get your next thoughts here.
MARSHALL: Well, on the pizza, it's interesting that you asked that, Emily. I thought they were trying to bribe the reporters, to be honest. You know - - you know, hey, I'll give you pizza, write something nice about my daughter, my sister. I hope that all of our reporters, ours too at Fox have more integrity than that, certainly.
Look, I'm very happy for the victims that justice has been served. I was concerned about the second count when the jury asked for that whiteboard, when they specifically asked for the definition of enticement, and then when they started to ask for some of the defense witnesses testimony. I was nervous that this wasn't going to be a slam dunk. I was nervous that it might not even be five out of six that were guilty.
So, I'm very happy that the system worked. I'm very happy that the jury, in my opinion, made the right choice, because I do think as I alluded to in a question earlier to Jim, that this makes it easier for victims in the future to come forward. That people always say, why are only seven out of 10 rapes reported. Why don't women report? Why do women take for so long to come forward with allegations of sexual harassment, assault, abuse, or rape, and not this verdict, but other verdicts in the past have been why.
So, I'm happy for those victims. I'm happy for these women that have suffered since they were girls. And I hope their nightmares can end and sentencing can begin soon.
COMPAGNO: Jason, to Leslie's point, you know, President Trump just signed into effect Savanna's Act, which had to do with communication between different federal and state agencies for the purpose of that communication for elevating, in that context, missing and murdered indigenous women.
But again, it's that same pattern of the power differential and of the systemic abuse of young girls. And my question to you is, in your time in legislature, what would you say were the biggest roadblocks to accomplishing more legislation and more laws that could help sort of shed light and break wide open these webs of complicit interstate illegal sex trafficking, Jason?
CHAFFETZ: I think one of the things we found is that -- and I was on the House Judiciary Committee. I think one of the things you found is a whole set of prosecutors that were so timid in there bringing forth cases, that there were a lot of cases that a lot of people thought were maybe 50-50, but they were so reluctant to bring them to the jury.
I think what we've seen in the -- in the high profile cases lately is that these cases, the juries get them right. The juries do figure this out. And we need more prosecutors to prosecute them. I concur with Leslie. I hope more victims can come forward. I hope these victims have at least a sense of some justice.
But I got to tell you, there are a lot of us who've been watching from the sidelines, who really do believe that it wasn't just her and it wasn't just Jeffrey Epstein. There were a whole horde of people that were taking advantage of these young women. Those people need to be prosecuted. They should be shaking in their boots right now knowing that the federal government is going to come get them and prosecute them.
If this is the end of the case, I think a lot of us will be very disappointed that they fell far short of those that should be prosecuted.
COMPAGNO: Yes, Joey, Jason mentions sometimes this sort of timidity of prosecutors. And I think that's part of the problem with the media, right? It's like the eye of sour on the spotlights on certain issues. And the second, it's buttoned up, then there's on to another issue that everyone's talking about.
But it's really important for prosecutors, for the DOJ, for legislators to stay committed, so that things like this don't fall by the wayside. So that people that don't have voices aren't all of a sudden silenced simply because the media has moved on, Joey.
JONES: Yes. These crimes committed never go away for the victims. They never have gone away. They didn't get shelved for 20 years and come back when this trial came. It's been a part of their life every single day. And so, I don't know how victims that weren't part of this trial feel. I don't know if they feel vindicated or if they feel left out because the actual crime committed against them hasn't gone to trial.
But I will tell you this. This is never going to go away for her now either. It's -- it is the rest of her life. It's prison. With any luck, I hope she rots in jail, and then she can rot in hell after that. Evil doesn't have a definitive face. But you're seeing it on our screen right now.
You don't do these things to young girls and get a second chance, in my opinion. You've committed crimes that -- and sins that are -- that are unforgivable in my world. And so, I'm glad there's a guilty verdict, and I hope that if I understood earlier, that there isn't really a predictive maximum sentence because of the way sentencing works.
So, if there's a year they can tack on there, I hope they do. If nothing else that solidifies her life in prison, then maybe work as a catalyst to find out who else might have -- might have committed crimes for her to testify against them. And I don't care who it is. I don't care if it's politician I like or a politician I hate or celebrity or some royalty, if somebody else has credible evidence that they committed these crimes, I hope they go to trial too.
COMPAGNO: Right. Tyrus, we've seen a lot of criminal justice reform and changes take place at the state level and some at the federal level. But here, the sentencing enhancements remain at the federal level, which was some of which will apply here. We know that sentencing guidelines to Joey's point, extend maximums, but it will be up to the judge, Alison Nathan here in this case, to levy those sentences. And she's facing up to 65 years in prison Tyrus.
TYRUS: Well, I hope the -- I hope the judge goes for the jugular on this one. But I'll actually like to make a statement. I'm hoping that we're -- when we see someone who's conspiracy -- who conspires, who turns a blind eye, on her case even participated, but I hope all those bodyguards, personal assistants out there, assistant producers, managers, agents who complicity allow their spoiled clients to get away with these type of behaviors for years, and then when it all comes out, say well, I was just doing this now.
Maybe we'll start seeing them get arrested. Maybe we'll start seeing them having to be held responsible. You're a bodyguard and you're helping individuals hide the underage girl in their hotel room or protecting him from the media. I hope we start seeing some of those individuals who kind of fit the same description that she was starting to get charges pressed against them too.
Because you know what, you're going to see a lot more whistles being blown earlier, you're going to start seeing more people do the right thing when they have to be held accountable. And I'm hoping that we see more accountability, not just to the perpetrators, like the pedophile that he was, but also the people around him, the assistants, the drivers, all those people around them, and that helped him keep his little secret for so long, we'll see another aspects of life where we see other entertainers, rich people, etcetera that do these type of things. And it's more prevalent than we -- you could possibly imagine, start to be held accountable. I think -- I'm hoping this is a step in the right direction.
COMPAGNO: Well said, Tyrus. Let's bring in now Ted Williams, former D.C. homicide detective and a criminal and civil trial attorney and Fox News Contributor. Ted, thank you so much for joining us on this really breaking news evening. What are your thoughts on Ghislaine Maxwell being found guilty of five of the six federal charges tonight?
TED WILLIAMS, FOX NEWS CHANNEL CONTRIBUTOR: Let me just use the word hurray. Let me just say that Ghislaine Maxwell was a pimp. We need to just call her for what she was. She was pimping these young, innocent girls for this man, Jeffrey Epstein, who escaped by killing himself in jail. Justice was done.
What we saw here today, ladies and gentlemen, we saw the working of the criminal justice system. We saw how a jury methodically went over the evidence. And as a result of going over the evidence, they came back and they convicted this pimp on five of the six counts against her.
The sad commentary, and what I would love the hell is that Jeffrey Epstein would be here to actually face trial. He took the easy way out and now she's here. And what I'm saying simply is, as Tyrus just said, I hope they throw the book at her.
But what we found, unfortunately, were rich people, people can afford just about anything, going out, using this woman delaying Maxwell as a pimp to get and pursue these young, innocent girls all for this -- the appetite of a sexual predator. So, the jury, I take my hat off to you all. You all did the right and proper thing. You looked at the evidence, you took your time to go through the evidence, and you came up with these guilty counts. And I am happy. I think clearly America can say that justice was done tonight for these four young women.
COMPAGNO: Right. Ted, you know, we had a statement earlier from attorney Brad Edwards who represented five dozen of the Ghislaine Maxwell-Jeffrey Epstein victims and he said exactly what you were saying. He said this is the right verdict. He said without her, Jeffrey just would have been a sexual predator without victims on which to perpetuate his sick crimes. He said she created the monster that hurts so many people and this jury finally delivered these victims justice, Ted.
Lesley Marshall has a question for you.
MARSHALL: In your professional experience -- in your professional experience, you know, you talked about her being a pimp. I agree wholeheartedly. I also agree with rot in hell and rot in prison as well. Don't be surprised the liberal here says that. But how likely is it that this will continue because she, the pimp, can't do this alone -- she the pimp didn't do this alone?
I mean, she helped Jeffrey Epstein by going out and gathering the trust of these young girls, that wolf in sheep's clothing that she was, but there were drivers, there were so many people, servants if you will, that worked in his home, homes, and people that flew them. There are many individuals that saw what was going on and kept cashing their paychecks. And I feel those people are just as guilty as Tyrus said. How likely that this net goes larger and wider to get more, and if possible, everyone involved?
WILLIAMS: You know, there's always that possibility because what will happen now at some stage here, Ghislaine Maxwell would be sentenced. And at that stage, she may very well be able to go into the prosecutors and make a deal with them for a reduction in that sentence by helping to bring the rich and the powerful, as well as the individuals that you said there, Leslie, the drivers, people who actually saw what was going on and turned a blind eye to innocent young kids, kids.
And this is what we're talking about. Let's not forget this. We're talking about young girls. And the thing about it as well, only four testified and only four were involved in this trial. There are many others out there. And I'm hoping that as a result of what we've seen here, this guilty verdict, that those individuals will come forward, help prosecutors to bring some of these sexually deviant individuals to justice.
COMPAGNO: Ted Williams, thank you so much, former D.C. homicide detective and attorney. Your insight was valuable as always. We're so grateful, sir. Thank you.
WILLIAMS: My pleasure.
COMPAGNO: All right, let's bring in now our own Judge Jeanine Pirro. Judge, what are your thoughts on this breaking news evening?
JEANINE PIRRO, FOX NEWS CHANNEL HOST: Well, you know, my first thoughts have to do with the victims in this case, and the survivors, I should call them. This is testifying in a criminal case and then having a jury believe you is one of the most healthiest therapeutic and cathartic things that can happen to a victim of the sex crime, especially the women who had tried to find justice for decades against these animals, because that's what they are. They are animals.
When you're a predator, and you're a pedophile, and you're enticing young women or at least entering into conspiracy to transport them and to commit sex trafficking of minors, then you are no better than an animal. This is the kind of case that not only sends a message, but what is most important right now is sitting down the United States Attorney and trying to figure out who are the other men who these young girl were in a position or were forced to service. And that's the next case. And that's the next prong.
And let me say one thing, and I was very vocal about this a while ago. Alexander Acosta was the United States Attorney in the Southern District of Florida who took the case against Jeffrey Epstein away from him when the local DA had the case and they had 13 young women willing to testify. And the feds came in and took the case, and Jeffrey Epstein got away with it.
It would have ended there, but it didn't because of politics. So, what you're seeing now is politics, big money. And now finally, it's coming crashing down. And that's what we need to recognize there is power in criminal justice. There is power in women coming forward and being believed. And there is power in our culture when we take these animals down.
COMPAGNO: Amen. Judge, Jason Chaffetz has a question for you now.
PIRRO: Hey, Jason.
CHAFFETZ: Judge, I really -- I really appreciate you bringing up what happened in Florida, because this case was about to be prosecuted, then it was torn away. And you're absolutely right. And I help you expose that even more.
On the civil side, what can these women do at this point? Now, she's convicted. She is -- is she opened up to the civil side of things?
PIRRO: Oh, yes.
CHAFFETZ: And are their assets to go get from both Jeffrey Epstein and Ms. Maxwell?
PIRRO: Well, first of all, I don't know the specifics. I mean, you need a forensic accountant. I am sure this woman is well-heeled. And once you prove the case, beyond a reasonable doubt, you have already satisfied the need to prove a case as a simple case by preponderance of the evidence. So, the survivors that I want to call him now in these cases are now in a good position to get whatever money they are able to identify and have access to.
But let me -- make no mistake, between Epstein and Maxwell, we're talking about hundreds of millions of dollars and they are somewhere. For some reason, these two got away with everything. They were in other countries. There's all kinds of connections here. And it's time to take them down.
And we can start in the U.K. and we can go all over the United States. But it's got to be done and the feds are now in a position to do it.
COMPAGNO: Judge, thank you so much for your insightful, excellent insight as always. We're so grateful to have you on.
PIRRO: All right, take care, guys. Bye, bye.
COMPAGNO: You too. You've been --
TYRUS: Happy New Year, Judge.
COMPAGNO: Happy New Year. You've been watching THE FIVE coverage as breaking news Ghislaine Maxwell's verdict was returned in her federal court case. She was found guilty of five of her six charges against her including sex trafficking of a minor and transporting a minor with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity in addition to conspiracy.
It was a pretty crazy night tonight on THE FIVE, you guys, but we've given you amazing insight, amazing reporting from our panel of legal experts. And here Tyrus, Jason Chaffetz, Leslie Marshall, and Johnny Joey Jones.
That's it for us. Ghislaine Maxwell found guilty on five of six charges. Stay with us here at Fox News for all updates.
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