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Posts Use Transposed Mugshot of Epstein to Target Kamala Harris

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Quick Take

A federal judge has ordered the release of documents that will identify scores of accused sex-trafficker Jeffrey Epstein’s associates. The order has led many social media users to share a digitally manipulated image that purports to show Vice President Kamala Harris posing with Epstein. The original photo showed Harris with her husband, Douglas Emhoff.

Full Story

The names of more than 150 people who were associated with Jeffrey Epstein — the financier accused of running a sex-trafficking ring for him and his well-connected friends before killing himself in a Manhattan jail in 2019 — are set to be released in January.

The publication of those names — many of which have already been made public — is the result of an order to unseal hundreds of documents issued by U.S. District Court Judge Loretta Preska, who is overseeing a civil suit brought by Virginia Giuffre, one of Epstein’s accusers, against Ghislaine Maxwell, Epstein’s longtime consort.

Anticipation of the release has prompted many social media users to share an old, manipulated photo made to suggest that Epstein was associated with Vice President Kamala Harris. There is no evidence to support any such association. Text shared with the photo further suggests that this purported relationship might shield others from being revealed.

The text says, “Maybe this is why we can’t see those flight logs,” which is a reference to lists of passengers on Epstein’s private plane. But, it’s worth noting, hundreds of pages of those flight logs have already been released.

The photo shown in the social media posts is digitally manipulated. The original picture shows Harris in 2015 with her husband, Douglas Emhoff, at the opening celebration for The Broad, an art museum in Los Angeles.

A mugshot from Epstein’s 2006 arrest on solicitation charges was transposed over Emhoff’s face to make it appear as though Epstein and Harris were photographed together. They weren’t.

Editor’s note: FactCheck.org is one of several organizations working with Facebook to debunk misinformation shared on social media. Our previous stories can be found here. Facebook has no control over our editorial content.


Sisak, Michael and Michael Balsamo. “New details of Jeffrey Epstein’s death and the frantic aftermath revealed in records obtained by AP.” Associated Press. 2 Jun 2023.

Giuffre v. Maxwell. Case No.1:15-cv-07433-LAP. Order to unseal. 18 Dec 2023.

Fichera, Angelo and Saranac Hale Spencer. “The Epstein Connections Fueling Conspiracy Theories.” FactCheck.org. Updated 23 Dec 2021.

Harris, Jerod. “Douglas Emhoff and Kamala Harris attends The Broad Museum Black Tie Inaugural Dinner at The Broad on September 17, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.” Getty Images North America. 17 Sep 2015.

ABC News. “NY Moneyman Arrested in Teen Sex Scandal.” 25 Jul 2006.