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Democrats reject Sec Acosta’s Epstein account, call for his resignation

Image: Gage Skidmore

July 10, 2019

Democrats quickly rejected Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta’s explanation for his handling of a 2008 plea deal in which Jeffrey Epstein was given only 18 months of prison time after pleading guilty to two felony prostitution charges.

“Secretary Acosta had a chance to do right by Jeffrey Epstein’s victims,” tweeted Representative David Cicilline (D-R.I.). “He failed. Today’s press conference doesn’t change that. The only appropriate thing for him to do now is to resign.”

“Acosta is trying to defend the indefensible,” Senator Tim Kaine (D-Va.) tweeted. “He put a monstrous predator above survivors of sexual abuse, and he’s got to go – period.”

Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Ct.) called the deal given to Epstein was “unconscionable” and “a betrayal of young survivors & basic justice.”

“Nothing said by Sec Acosta at his press conference changes the verdict: he must go. Despite his attempts to justify it, his unconscionable sweetheart deal w/sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein still stinks. This secret deal was immoral-a betrayal of young survivors & basic justice.”

On Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) spoke on the Senate floor, calling for Acosta to resign or for President Donald Trump to fire him.

“Epstein should have been behind bars years ago, but unfortunately Secretary of Labor Alex Acosta cut Epstein a sweetheart deal while Acosta was a U.S. attorney in Florida in 2008,” said Schumer. “It is now impossible for anyone to have confidence in Secretary Acosta’s ability to lead the Department of Labor.”

“If he refuses to resign, President Trump should fire him. Instead of prosecuting a predator, a serial sex trafficker of children, Acosta chose to let him off easy. This is not acceptable.”

According to a report from The Daily Beast, Acosta told Trump transition team interviewers that he let Epstein off easy because he was told that Epstein was an interest of U.S. intelligence.

“I was told Epstein ‘belonged to intelligence’ and to leave it alone,” Acosta reportedly said.

In a press conference, Acosta explained his reasons for the 2008 decision on Epstein and claimed that it was he and his office that secured jail time for the billionaire.

“Simply put, the Palm Beach state attorney’s office was ready to let Epstein walk free, no jail time,” said Acosta. “Prosecutors in my former office found this to be completely unacceptable.”

“We believe that we proceeded appropriately, that’s based on evidence, not just my opinion,” he added. “There was value to getting a guilty plea and having him register.”

– MK. II

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