The Federal Aviation Administration reportedly accidentally disclosed more than 2,000 flight records associated with four of Jeffrey Epstein’s private jets in response to an unrelated request made by news outlet Business Insider.
According to Business Insider, in January 2020 they made a request to the FAA for flight records pertaining to a handful of private jets owned by Epstein. The outlet reportedly filed the request under the Freedom of Information Act but was ultimately denied the request by the FAA two months later.
The FAA reportedly denied the request because “the responsive records originate from an investigative file” and therefore were not allowed to be shared with the outlet. The agency allegedly cited an exemption statute that was designed by Congress to protect records they considered “compiled for law enforcement” and “could reasonably be expected to interfere with enforcement proceeding.”
But then, earlier this year, the FAA reportedly mailed Business Insider a portion of Epstein’s flight records consisting of 2,300 flight records from four private jets registered by the former billionaire between 1998 and 2020.
Although the majority of the flights accidentally disclosed by the agency were already known by the outlet, a reported 704 of the disclosed flights were new.
The 704 previously unknown flights reportedly included hundreds of flights made by Epstein’s planes between 2013 and 2016, a gap of three years that the outlet claims were previously unaccounted for.
Also, even though the 704 new flight records do not include any names of passengers on the flights, the outlet believes the accidentally disclosed new information could be used to find out when and where certain people close to Epstein were traveling.
In fact, the outlet names Ghislaine Maxwell as a frequent passenger on Epstein’s private jets, and perhaps this new flight information could be used to pinpoint where she was traveling between 2003 and 2006.
Although the FAA has reportedly declined to comment on the accidental disclosure of this new flight information, a spokesperson for the agency reportedly told the outlet that “flight data is typically considered to be releasable information.”