Court documents related to the disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein are expected to be released soon with many names that were previously redacted, and prominent figures on the right are holding up the impending disclosures as evidence of wrongdoing by Democrats despite a lack of concrete information about what they will show.
Most of the names being made public — currently cited in the documents as John Does — have previously been identified in other court documents or in news reports as having been associated with Mr. Epstein.
A longtime friend of powerful people, including politicians, business executives and royalty, Mr. Epstein was accused of preying on girls as young as 14, bringing them to his homes and paying them for sex acts. He died at 66 by suicide in jail in 2019, before he could stand trial in Manhattan on federal sex-trafficking charges, but his associate Ghislaine Maxwell was convicted in 2021 of conspiring with him and sentenced to 20 years in prison. Mr. Epstein’s estate has since paid out about $150 million in settlements to more than 125 women.
It is in connection with a defamation lawsuit against Ms. Maxwell that the documents are being released. That lawsuit was brought by one of Mr. Epstein’s and Ms. Maxwell’s victims, Virginia Giuffre. Previously, many of the names in the documents were sealed, but a New York judge ruled in December that some of them could be unsealed.
Multiple news reports have said that former President Bill Clinton will be among those named, a fact conservative commentators have jumped on, though there is no indication that it will be in connection with allegations of wrongdoing, and Ms. Giuffre has not accused Mr. Clinton of any misconduct. His office said in 2019 that he had flown on Mr. Epstein’s private plane but had no knowledge of Mr. Epstein’s crimes, and a spokesman pointed to that statement on Tuesday.
“President Clinton knows nothing about the terrible crimes Jeffrey Epstein pleaded guilty to in Florida some years ago, or those with which he has been recently charged in New York,” the 2019 statement said, acknowledging trips and meetings with Mr. Epstein in the early 2000s. It added, “He’s not spoken to Epstein in well over a decade.”
Being named in the documents does not necessarily indicate that a person participated in or was aware of Mr. Epstein’s or Ms. Maxwell’s actions, and it was already known that Mr. Epstein was friendly with Mr. Clinton — as well as countless other celebrities and officials, including Donald J. Trump. It remains to be seen if the documents will say anything significant about Mr. Clinton or any other person.
But right-wing officials and commentators have seized on the impending release without caveats.
“For some us, it’s no surprise at all that Bill Clinton will be named in the Jeffrey Epstein files. We said it a long time ago but they labeled us conspiracy theorists,” Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, Republican of Georgia, wrote on X, adding, “Pedophiles belong in jail not on secret government lists.”
Ms. Greene’s comment adopted some conservatives’ description of the coming documents as a “list” of Mr. Epstein’s associates, but according to a person briefed on the documents, many of them are depositions taken from victims of Mr. Epstein and related court filings.
Others playing up the documents included the far-right commentator Benny Johnson; Graham Allen, a right-wing video streamer; and Brigitte Gabriel, the founder of the anti-Muslim group ACT for America.
One name expected to be included in the documents is that of Prince Andrew, who in 2022 settled a lawsuit filed by Ms. Giuffre accusing him of sexual abuse.
Matthew Goldstein and Benjamin Weiser contributed reporting.