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Doctored Photos Falsely Link Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to Jeffrey Epstein
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Doctored Photos Falsely Link Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to Jeffrey Epstein

There is no evidence either met the disgraced financier before his death.

Mug shot of Jeffrey Epstein, 2019. (Photo by Kypros/Getty Images)

This month, two images—one depicting Jeffrey Epstein with President Joe Biden and another depicting Epstein with Vice President Kamala Harris—have gone viral across social media. “This is why we can’t see the client list,” reads the text overlay on the photo of Epstein and Harris. “Any bets on why the Epstein list hasn’t been released yet?” asks the other of Epstein and Biden.

Both images are fake: There is no evidence that either Biden or Harris ever met Epstein. 

In 2021, The Dispatch Fact Check debunked the same image of Biden and Epstein. The edited image combines a 2005 photo of Epstein posed alongside billionaire Pepe Fanjul with an unrelated photo of Biden.

Kamala Harris’ supposed picture with Epstein is also doctored. The original photo depicts Harris and her husband Doug Emhoff at the red carpet opening of a Los Angeles art museum in 2015.

Epstein rose to public notoriety in 2019 after his arrest on multiple charges related to sex trafficking. The wealthy financier had previously admitted guilt to charges of solicitation of prostitution and solicitation of prostitution with a minor in a 2007 plea deal. He was rearrested in 2019 on multiple charges related to sex trafficking after the details of that deal were investigated and publicized by the Miami Herald. Before he could face trial, Epstein was found dead in his cell in August 2019, and the New York City medical examiner ruled his death a suicide.

In January 2024, documents related to a 2015 defamation lawsuit filed against Epstein’s accomplice Ghislaine Maxwell by an alleged victim of Epstein were unsealed following multiple requests from the Miami Herald. The publication of the documents renewed public attention around Epstein. In particular, accusations began to circulate that he and Maxwell had provided underage prostitutes to well-known public figures, leading to widespread speculation about who might be on the “Epstein’s list.” The supposed document was alleged to contain the names of dozens—and possibly hundreds—of prominent figures who were either clients of or otherwise associated with Epstein. 

Despite the term’s widespread use, it is a misnomer. More than 100 names were dispersed throughout the documents unsealed in January, however, there is not known to be a comprehensive “list” of Epstein associates. Many of the individuals named in the unsealed documents, such as Stephen Hawking, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Cate Blanchett, were not accused of any wrongdoing. DiCaprio and Blanchett’s names, for example, appear only in a response by Epstein accuser Johanna Sjoberg, where she claims to have never met the two actors.

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Alex Demas is a fact checker at The Dispatch and is based in Washington, D.C. Prior to joining the company in 2023, he worked in England as a financial journalist and earned his MA in Political Economy at King's College London. When not heroically combating misinformation online, Alex can be found mixing cocktails, watching his beloved soccer team Aston Villa lose a match, or attempting to pet stray cats.