Look for this one to be front and center, once Trump’s newly named pick for labor secretary, Alexander Acosta, goes before the Senate during his confirmation hearing.
As a federal prosecutor in Miami, back in 2008, Acosta cut a deal with Jeffrey Epstein – the billionaire investor, accused of having sex with numerous underage girls.
As the U.S. attorney for Southern Florida, Acosta agreed not to file any federal charges against the wealthy financier, Jeffrey Epstein, if he pled guilty to state charges involving soliciting prostitution and soliciting a minor for prostitution.
Epstein ultimately received an 18-month sentence in county jail and served about 13 months — treatment that provoked outrage from alleged victims in the case.
Epstein has a very dirty past, and some high-named acquaintances. Among those are former President Clinton, and current President Trump.
How excited do you think Senate Democrats will be to draw that line to Trump (while ignoring the Clinton connection)?
Soon after the deal was cut in 2008, two women filed suit claiming that the decision to forgo federal prosecution violated a federal law — the Crime Victims Rights Act — because they and other teenagers Epstein paid for sex were never adequately consulted about the plea deal or given an opportunity to object to it.
Acosta is not part of the suit, but in 2015, lawyers for the women demanded Acosta submit a deposition in the case. That request was later withdrawn, as the two sides talked settlement.
Acosta’s involvement in the saga could be personally or politically awkward for Trump, drawing fresh attention to his ties to Epstein — including the financier’s tenure as a member at Trump’s Palm Beach club, Mar-a-Lago.
“I’ve known Jeff for 15 years. Terrific guy,” Trump told New York Magazine back in 2002. “He’s a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side. No doubt about it — Jeffrey enjoys his social life.”
Another Trump associate offered that Trump and Epstein weren’t particularly close, but rather, Epstein was a member of one of Trump’s clubs.
For his part, Acosta points out that his office was under an immense amount of pressure to strike a deal for Epstein from his formidable defense team.
Of the big names putting pressure on Acosta’s office, were Harvard law professor, Alan Dershowitz, Florida criminal defense attorney, Roy Black, and former Whitewater independent counsel, Kenneth Starr.
Acosta went on to say that the prosecution team endured a yearlong assault.
“I use the word assault intentionally, as the defense in this case was more aggressive than any which I, or the prosecutors in my office, had previously encountered,” the former U.S. attorney wrote. He said his office stuck to its opening position in the case, but he also acknowledged that the ultimate punishment in the case may have been more lenient than Epstein deserved.
Acosta later wrote:
“Some may feel that the prosecution should have been tougher,” Acosta wrote in the letter, posted online by The Daily Beast. “Evidence that has come to light since 2007 may encourage that view. Many victims have since spoken out, filing detailed statements in civil cases seeking damages. Physical evidence has since been discovered. Had these additional statements and evidence been known, the outcome may have been different. But they were not known to us at the time.”
Ultimately, Acosta wasn’t trying to let a filthy child predator off the hook. He went on to say that he did not approve of the lenient treatment Epstein was reported to have received, while in prison. He added, “”The treatment that he received while in state custody undermined the purpose of a jail sentence.”
We can look for Senate Democrats to use this, however.
They’ve pounded other nominees for far less.