Leading the Prosecution in Ghislaine Maxwell Trial Is James Comey’s Daughter — a Backer of Hillary Clinton
Donated to Clinton in 2015 and marched for her in 2016
Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell have brought plenty of familiar faces along with them into the spotlight, including Prince Andrew and former Presidents Donald Trump and Bill Clinton.
But one newcomer is 32-year-old Maurene Comey.
The daughter of former FBI director James Comey, Maurene Comey is one of the three lead prosecutors on the case against Ghislaine Maxwell, whose child sex-trafficking trial is scheduled to begin Monday.
Despite her father’s history of dominating the news cycle, Maurene Comey has largely stayed out of the spotlight, instead maintaining a low-profile presence.
But she’s taken on major cases before Maxwell’s trial, including the prosecution of Natalie Edwards, a self-proclaimed Treasury Department whistleblower; and Robert Hadden, a gynecologist accused of sexually abusing dozens of young women.
She was also one of the lead prosecutors in the case against Jeffrey Epstein before he killed himself in August 2019 while awaiting trial.
Here’s what we know about the first daughter of law and order.
You can’t make this stuff up. Crooked James Comey’s daughter, Maurene Comey, was involved in the lost video of Jeffrey Epstein’s first alleged attempted suicide in jail, and now she’s a member of the team prosecuting Epstein’s confidante Ghislaine Maxwell pic.twitter.com/q7FzBo0xo1
— Maxwell Trial Tracker (@TrackerTrial) November 28, 2021
Maurene Comey has worked on multiple Epstein and Maxwell-related cases
Comey is currently an assistant US attorney in the Southern District of New York — one of the most prestigious federal prosecutors’ offices nationwide.
The district covers Manhattan and the surrounding area, making it the center of prosecutions for financial crimes and other high-profile cases.
Maurene Comey joined the office in 2015, and is listed as one of three lead prosecutors handling the case against Maxwell, along with Assistant US Attorneys Alex Rossmiller and Alison Gainfort Moe.
The three of them also handled the case against Epstein, who was indicted in July 2019 for numerous sex crimes. For the case against Maxwell, they’re joined by Assistant US Attorneys Andrew Rohrbach and Lara Elizabeth Pomerantz.
The prosecutors have accused Maxwell of trafficking teenage girls for sex and sexually abusing them herself along with Jeffrey Epstein. Maxwell has pleaded not guilty to the charges and has denied all misconduct.
James Comey was the head of the SDNY between 2002 and 2003 before former President George W. Bush named him deputy attorney general. He worked in the private sector from 2005 until former President Barack Obama named him FBI director in 2013.
Prior to joining the SDNY office herself in 2015, Maurene Comey worked for a year as a clerk for Loretta Preska, who at the time was the chief judge at the US District Court for the Southern District of New York.
Preska oversees a long-running defamation case that Virginia Giuffre filed against Maxwell. Giuffre has accused both Maxwell and Epstein of sexual misconduct, and the civil lawsuit has led to numerous unsealed documents related to Epstein’s and Maxwell’s conduct.
Two of the current criminal charges against Maxwell allege she perjured herself by lying in a deposition taken for Giuffre’s case, but those charges are set to be tried in a separate trial.
Comey has also worked on another Epstein-related case: Nicholas Tartaglione. The former police officer was arrested in 2016, accused of killing four men as part of a drug crime conspiracy. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty, and he’s been jailed for the past five years — often getting into arguments with correctional officials, court records show — as his case has been delayed.
Tartaglione was briefly roommates with Epstein at Manhattan’s Metropolitan Correctional Center in 2019, and was living with him when Epstein made his first suicide attempt in jail, on July 23. Tartaglione claimed to have helped Epstein after finding him unconscious. The jail was shut down earlier this year after numerous scandals.
Comey has taken on several other high-profile cases in the past couple of years
Early in Comey’s career, court records show, she handled mostly drug and gun smuggling cases.
She worked on a case against the treasurer of a volunteer fire department who embezzled over $5 million and was sentenced to over 6 years in prison; and prosecuted a gang member who pleaded guilty for killing someone at a Valentine’s Day party; and other gang-related cases.
She also worked on other cases that involved alleged sex crimes against minors. In 2016, she led a case against an 18-year-old who prosecutors accused of coercing a middle-school-aged girl to send him nude photographs over the app Kik, threatening to post other pictures of the girl. According to a DOJ press release, prosecutors originally sought to convict the man of sexual exploitation of a minor, which carries a minimum 13-year-sentence.
In 2018, the man plead guilty to the lesser charge of receipt of child pornography and was sentenced to 7 years in prison and 5 years supervised release, according to court documents reviewed by Insider.
In more recent years, she’s taken on bigger sex crime cases. In addition to the Maxwell trial, she’s on the prosecutorial team for Robert Hadden, the former Columbia University gynecologist. Dozens of women have accused him of sexual misconduct over the decades. In September 2020, the SDNY US Attorney’s office filed charges against him, alleging misconduct in connection with six accusers. His trial has been pushed back to 2022, and Comey is still on the case.
Comey was also part of the prosecutorial team who brought charges against Natalie Mayflower Sours Edwards, a former Treasury Department official. Edwards was sentenced to prison earlier this year after pleading guilty in January 2020 to illegally leaking documents to a member of the media.
Those documents, which included bank reports of suspicious financial activity, were connected to former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation as well as the FinCEN files, which exposed potential corruption in the global banking system and led several counties to reform their financial laws.
Comey withdrew from the case on June 5, 2020, a few weeks before a grand jury brought the indictment against Maxwell.
Comey attended Harvard Law School and briefly worked for a large law firm before becoming a prosecutor
Prior to working with the US attorney’s office, Comey worked at the large law firm Debevoise & Plimpton for a year.
The extent of her work at the firm isn’t clear, but an archived yearly report from the company listed her as working on a case where the firm argued for the Connecticut Coalition for Justice that the quality of education that the state provided to public school students violated the Constitution.
Debevoise was successful, and a Connecticut Superior Court judge ordered the state to propose remedies within half a year, according to Yale Law School, which also worked on the case.
Comey’s only political donations were $233 to Hilary Clinton’s presidential campaign in 2015, according to campaign finance transparency site OpenSecrets.org.
Her father said in an ABC interview that his wife and daughters “marched in the Women’s March the day after President Trump’s inauguration,” and that he was “pretty sure” they all “wanted Hillary Clinton to be the first woman president.”
In 2012, Comey was listed as a research assistant for legal scholar and Harvard professor Daniel Meltzer on his article in The Duke Law Journal titled “Executive Defense of Congressional Acts.”
The article disputed the constitutionality of the now-defunct Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and DOMA laws, which discriminated against gay people, but argued for their theoretical enforcement by the executive branch. Meltzer would go on to serve as deputy counsel in the Obama administration for a little over a year before returning to Harvard.
Source: Business Insider