Biden Cabinet nominee's meetings with Epstein in 2012 spanned 90 minutes, document reveals

Lander, who was won as head of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, is the only outstanding candidate in the Biden Cabinet who has yet to be confirmed.

Senate committee members urged Lander at a nomination hearing late last month to provide the panel with additional information about his interactions with Epstein unearthed by news reports in 2019.

This response, submitted by the White House and received by POLITICO, states that Lander’s first such encounter was over a 60-minute lunch with fellow scientists and “three or four donors or potential donors,” including Epstein, on April 15, 2012 .

Lander and other faculty members “gave presentations on the state of research in their respective fields and answered questions from the group, including Epstein,” according to the document. It was said that Lander attended the entire event.

The second interaction was at a reception held May 12th this year before a dinner with “approximately forty people,” comprised of faculties, donors, and potential donors, including Epstein. Lander did not attend dinner, but spent about 30 minutes at the front desk speaking to Epstein, among others.

“After these two events, Dr. Lander never saw or spoke to Epstein again,” says the document, which contains one of the most comprehensive accounts of the events published to date. Lander “never applied for or received funding [Epstein] or its foundations, “says the document. A. 2019 BuzzFeed investigation found that Epstein donated millions to other researchers.

An OSTP spokesman declined to comment, and the Senate Trade Committee did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Epstein has been a convicted sex offender since 2008. He was later arrested for federal sex trafficking in 2019 before killing himself.

At his April nomination hearing, Lander called Epstein a “hideous person” and said he had “decided not to have any connection with him at all,” including the fact that he never received any funding from the financier.

“The sum of my interactions was that I met him briefly at two events in the spring of 2012 within three weeks,” Lander testified, adding that he was unaware of Epstein’s “dirty story” at the time.

Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) Said at the session that she was “concerned” about these meetings, among other incidents that challenged his treatment of race and gender issues. Other members, including Senator Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) And Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Have also raised concerns privately, as reported by POLITICO.

The post of OSTP director was raised to cabinet level for the first time under Biden, alluding to the importance of scientific innovation.

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