As we recounted in Part I of this series on the origins of the Jeffrey Epstein child-trafficking black mail operation, Lewis “Lew” Rosenstiel, the renowned liquor baron who rose to prominence in the post-Prohibition era of the 1920s and 30s, liked to host extravagant parties. These parties often included “boy prostitutes” that he would hire “for the enjoyment” of certain guests who often included important government officials and prominent figures in America’s criminal underworld.
In addition to hosting such parties, Rosenstiel also attended them. One such party was hosted by McCarthy-era lawyer and future Donald Trump confidant, Roy Cohn.
At one such party, held in a suite at Manhattan’s Plaza Hotel in 1958, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover was also reportedly in attendance and was dressed in drag.
The account of that party was given by an ex-wife of Rosenstiel’s, a woman named Susan Kaufman, but was backed up by New York attorney John Klotz, who was tasked with investigating Cohn for a separate case. Klotz would later tell a journalist, “Roy Cohn was providing protection. There were a bunch of pedophiles involved. That’s where Cohn got his power from — blackmail.”
But Cohn actually admitted to the ring himself, to a former NYPD detective named James Rothstein. Rothstein would later tell John DeCamp, a former Nebraska state senator who investigated a government-connected child sex ring based in Omaha that Cohn had admitted to being part of a sexual blackmail operation targeting politicians with child prostitutes.
Rothstein told DeCamp, “Cohn’s job was to run the little boys. Say you had an admiral, a general, a congressman, who did not want to go along with the program. Cohn’s job was to set them up, then they would go along. Cohn told me that himself.”
This article is based on a report by Whitney Webb of The Last American Vagabond on the origins of the Epstein ring. You can read Webb’s full report here.