The questionable travel document was found inside the safe — along with $70,000 in cash and 48 loose diamonds — in the New York City home of the wealthy financier and accused sex trafficker. It contained a photo of Epstein with a different name and listed his place of residence as Saudi Arabia, according to prosecutors.
"In fact, the passport contains numerous ingress and egress stamps, including stamps that reflect use of the passport to enter France, Spain, the United Kingdom, and Saudi Arabia in the 1980s."
Epstein's lawyers said he obtained the Austrian passport in 1982 for "personal protection" to be presented to "potential kidnappers, hijackers, or terrorists."
The lawyers said Epstein's Jewish faith and substantial wealth made him a target while traveling in the Middle East.
"Some Jewish-Americans were formally advised at the time to carry identification bearing a non-Jewish name when traveling internationally in case of hijacking," Epstein's lawyers wrote in a letter to Judge Berman on Thursday.
Epstein's attorneys argued that the government provided no evidence that he ever used the passport. They said any stamps on the questionable passport were obtained by a previous user.
"He never used the document to travel internationally and never presented it to any immigration or customs authority," according to Epstein's defense letter on Thursday.
"The passport stamps, predating his receipt of the document, do not reflect Mr. Epstein's entries or exists. His expired US passports, seized by the government and in its possession, would verify his true travel."
Berman also said Thursday that testimony Monday from two women who claimed to be victims of Epstein played a role in his no-bail ruling.
"I was 16 years old when I had the misfortune of meeting Mr. Epstein here in New York," said Annie Farmer, adding she was there to voice her support for the prosecution's move to keep Epstein locked up.
When Berman asked if she was sexually abused, the witness responded: "He was inappropriate with me. I would prefer not to get into the details at this time."
Another woman, Courtney Wild, said she was sexually abused by Epstein.
"Hi, your honor, my name is Courtney Wild and I was sexually assaulted by Jeffrey Epstein at the age of 14," she told the court.
Wild also asked that Epstein not be released before his trial.
"He is a scary person to have walking the street," she said.
Weinberg argued that Epstein wasn't going anywhere and looked forward to clearing his name: "He's going to defend this case."
Epstein ultimately pleaded guilty to state charges of soliciting minors for prostitution and served a 13-month sentence in a Florida county jail. He was forced to register as a sex offender under that deal.
Jonathan Dienst is a reporter for WNBC-TV in New York, leading its investigative reporting team and covering justice and law enforcement issues.
Adam Reiss is a reporter and producer for NBC and MSNBC.
David K. Li
David K. Li is a breaking news reporter for NBC News.