ABC News covers Epstein, Clinton ties years after Amy Robach hot mic ‘we had everything’ scandal

A former ABC News anchor once said network honchos ‘quashed the story’

What a difference a few years make. 

ABC News was the first to report over the weekend that former President Bill Clinton is expected to be identified as one of several John Does in previously redacted documents related to convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein – an about-face for the Disney-owned network after a former anchor said executives spiked her Epstein-Clinton reporting in 2019. 

In 2019, leaked footage of then-ABC News anchor Amy Robach shocked the media industry when she was caught saying the Disney-owned network spiked her Epstein reporting. 

"I've had the story for three years... we would not put it on the air," Robach said on the hot mic, referring to reporting that would have taken place in 2016. 



Jeffrey Epstein, Amy Robach and Bill Clinton. (Left: (Photo by Neil Rasmus/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images) Center: (Photo by Paula Lobo/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images), Right: (Photo by John Nacion/WireImage))

"It was unbelievable what we had, Clinton, we had everything," she added, an apparent reference to the former president.

"I tried for three years to get it on to no avail. And now it’s all coming out and it’s like these new revelations and I freaking had all of it," Robach said. "I’m so pissed right now."

Robach was also heard saying, "There will come a day when we will realize Jeffrey Epstein was the most prolific pedophile this country has ever known. I had it all, three years ago."

Robach's diatribe was allegedly recorded in late August of that year, days after NPR criticized the mainstream media, including ABC, for sitting on Epstein news. The convicted sex offender had already been found dead at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York while awaiting federal trial for sex trafficking, but Epstein was very much alive three years earlier when ABC News didn’t air Robach's reporting. 

The leaked hot mic tape sent shockwaves through the industry, with many bashing ABC News’ explanation and assuming it was simply an example of a mainstream news outlet protecting high-profile Democrats. Others believed ABC News was attempting to protect their chance at access to Buckingham Palace, as Robach filmed an interview with Prince Andrew accuser Virginia Roberts Giuffre in 2015 that never aired.  

"First of all, I was told, who’s Jeffrey Epstein? No one knows who that is. This is a stupid story," Robach said on the video recording. "Then, the Palace found out that we had her whole allegations about Prince Andrew and threatened us a million different ways. We were so afraid we wouldn’t be able to interview Kate and Will, that also quashed the story."

Robach Epstein

Former ABC News anchor Amy Robach once admitted on hot mic footage that she had the Jeffrey Epstein story three years before it was finally reported. (Getty)

After the leaked video first published by Project Veritas stunned Americans, Robach quickly admitted its authenticity but dismissed the notion of unethical journalism.

"As a journalist, as the Epstein story continued to unfold last summer, I was caught in a private moment of frustration. I was upset that an important interview I had conducted with [Epstein accuser] Virginia Roberts didn’t air because we could not obtain sufficient corroborating evidence to meet ABC’s editorial standards about her allegations," Robach said in a 2019 statement provided to Fox News Digital.

At the time, ABC News also downplayed the significance of the video despite widespread criticism, telling Fox News Digital that Robach’s Epstein story wasn’t fit to air.

"Not all of our reporting met our standards to air, but we have never stopped investigating the story. Ever since, we’ve had a team on this investigation and substantial resources dedicated to it," an ABC News spokesperson told Fox News.


ABC, CBS face backlash over firing of alleged leaker of Amy Robach videoVideo

Indeed, ABC News first reported Clinton would be named after a federal judge in New York ordered the unsealing of dozens of documents that name people linked to Epstein. ABC News said Sunday that Clinton will be named but "there is no indication the sealed records contain evidence of illegal conduct" by the former president. Clinton is mentioned more than 50 times in the redacted filings, per ABC News.

Fox News contributor Joe Concha believes the Clintons simply aren’t worth protecting these days. 

"What changed is there isn't a Clinton who is the Democratic nominee for president like there was in 2016. Now the Clintons are expendable," Concha told Fox News Digital. "It's really that simple."

DePauw University professor Jeffrey McCall agreed.

"It is really difficult now for the establishment media, including ABC, to continue to run cover for Bill Clinton once the court documents are released. The press has long had a tradition of providing favorable coverage for the Clintons, both Bill and Hillary. But it's hard to look the other way when material shows up in officially released documents," McCall told Fox News Digital.

"The media is pretty much cornered into having to cover the document release.  Besides, it is okay now in the broader news sphere for establishment media to throw some negative coverage at Bill Clinton. He is largely old news by now and not a major player in political circles," McCall continued. "Thus, there is no need to worry about his reputation or what tarnishing his image might mean for Democrat politics more generally."

ABC News did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 


NY Post

The extramarital affair between now-former ABC News anchors T.J. Holmes and Amy Robach landed on the front page of the New York Post.  (New York Post)

Robach exited ABC News in 2023 after an extramarital affair with co-host T.J. Holmes became tabloid fodder and embarrassed the Disney-owned network. 

Their relationship, which began while they were married to other people, came to light in 2022 and resulted in them being benched for two months from "GMA3," the dayside ABC show they had co-hosted since 2020. Insiders told Fox News Digital as the saga was ongoing that the affair was brutal for the family brand so important to Disney. Robach and Holmes eventually agreed to leave the company.

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