The Latest: Politicians praise Jeffrey Epstein's bail ruling

NEW YORK (AP) — The Latest on the sex trafficking charges against Jeffrey Epstein (all times local):

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2 p.m.

A U.S. senator and a Florida congresswoman are praising a federal judge's decision to keep financier Jeffrey Epstein behind bars.

Republican Sen. Ben Sasse, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Oversight Subcommittee, says the judge's decision Thursday to keep Epstein jailed until trial "wasn't a close call." He calls Epstein a "molester" who "stole the innocence of many little girls."

U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, former chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, says the judge "made the right call."

She says: "Survivors deserve more answers and true justice," and Epstein "will never spend enough time behind bars."

The 66-year-old Epstein was arrested on sex trafficking charges on July 6. He has pleaded not guilty.

His defense lawyers left Manhattan federal court Thursday without commenting.

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11:30 a.m.

A federal judge has denied bail for jailed financier Jeffrey Epstein on sex trafficking charges involving underage girls.

The judge's decision Thursday comes after prosecutors argued Epstein should remain behind bars in New York City because he has the means to flee and is a danger to the public.

Prosecutors fear Epstein also might try to influence a growing number of witnesses who support charges that he recruited and abused dozens of girls in New York and Florida in the early 2000s. Two accusers urged his detention during a Monday hearing.

Lawyers for the 66-year-old Epstein say he wouldn't run and would be willing to pledge a fortune of at least $559 million as collateral.

They say he should await trial under house arrest in his $77 million Manhattan mansion.

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11:15 a.m.

Lawyers for financier Jeffrey Epstein say a friend gave him the fake passport found in his locked safe during a raid on his Manhattan mansion for protection.

His defense lawyers told a federal judge Thursday more details about the passport ahead of Epstein's bail hearing on sex trafficking charges.

They say a friend gave it to him in the 1980s after some Jewish-Americans were informally advised to carry identification bearing a non-Jewish name when traveling internationally during a period when hijackings were more common.

His lawyers say he never used it and the passport stamps predated his receipt of the document.

Prosecutors dispute the claim that it's never been used. They say the Austrian passport contains stamps reflecting it was used to enter France, Spain, the United Kingdom and Saudi Arabia in the 1980s.

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10:40 a.m.

A federal judge in New York is set to announce whether financier Jeffrey Epstein will be granted bail while he awaits trial on sex trafficking charges .

The judge's expected decision Thursday comes after prosecutors argued the 66-year-old Epstein should remain jailed because he has the means to flee and is a danger to the public.

Prosecutors fear Epstein also might try to influence a growing number of witnesses who support charges that he recruited and abused dozens of girls in New York and Florida in the early 2000s.

Lawyers for Epstein say he wouldn't run and would be willing to pledge a fortune of at least $559 million as collateral.

They say he should await trial under house arrest in his $77 million Manhattan mansion.