PHOENIX (AP) — Boris Epshteyn, a longtime aide to former President Donald Trump, was arrested in 2021 after he was accused of repeatedly groping two women in an Arizona nightclub, according to police records.
Epshteyn pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct charges in Scottsdale city court after prosecutors dropped charges of attempted sexual abuse, assault-touching and “harass-repeated acts.” He paid a fine and served probation, and his conviction was set aside earlier this year.
The arrest was first reported Thursday by The Arizona Republic. Epshteyn, who is advising Trump’s 2024 presidential campaign, declined to comment when contacted by The Associated Press.
A club security guard flagged down police early in the morning of Oct. 10, 2021, and told officers that women had complained Epshteyn touched them inappropriately, according to a police report and body-worn camera footage released under Arizona’s public records law.
One woman told officers Epshteyn was especially aggressive toward her 23-year-old sister.
“All night he’s been like touching me and my sister, especially my sister,” she said over loud music during an interview captured on the officer’s body camera. “He kind of cornered her and grabbed her and like (was) just making her super uncomfortable. Touching her after we repeatedly told him to stop touching her.”
She said club security told her they couldn’t kick out Epshteyn because he was a big spender, though security guards eventually led him out of the bar to police.
“We have a high tolerance of people being weird, but that was above and beyond,” the older sister told one officer.
Epshteyn denied wrongdoing but said little else about the incident to police as he sat on a curb outside the bar.
“I have no idea what’s going on. I have no idea who these women are,” Epshteyn told officers.
Epshteyn was also charged in 2014 with assault-touching following a fight at another Scottsdale bar, court records show. He reached a plea deal with prosecutors.
A longtime Trump adviser, Epshteyn was a principal surrogate in the 2016 presidential campaign, making frequent television appearances and briefly serving as a senior White House adviser before becoming an analyst for Sinclair Broadcast Group.
He’s also been a main figure in Trump’s ongoing legal battles, both as an adviser and a participant.
After Trump’s loss in 2020, Epshteyn worked with former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani — another of Trump’s lawyers — on efforts to overturn the election results by organizing fake electors. Last year, he was subpoenaed by the House panel probing the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol and testified before a Georgia special grand jury probing Trump’s efforts to overturn his 2020 election loss in that state.
It’s anticipated that a possible indictment in that case could come against the former president next week.
He also accompanied Trump to Washington last week for his first appearance in federal court on charges related to attempts to overturn his 2020 election loss to Democrat Joe Biden.
Earlier this year, Epshteyn appeared alongside the former president as Trump was arraigned in New York on 34 felony counts as part of a hush money case — the first time in U.S. history a former president had faced a criminal indictment.
When Timothy Parlatore quit the Trump legal team in May, he singled out strategy differences with Epshteyn as among his reasons, accusing him of “doing everything he could to try to block us to prevent us from doing what we could to defend the president” as it relates to the case in which Trump is charged with improperly taking classified documents from the White House.
Jonathan J. Cooper, The Associated Press