- This topic has 4 replies, 4 voices, and was last updated 3 years, 6 months ago by .
A Democratic group of lawmakers is calling for a Justice Department investigation into Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta after a scathing report revealed decade-old allegations that he granted an alleged serial pedophile the “deal of a lifetime’’ while serving as a U.S. attorney in South Florida.
The still-growing group, led by Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., called on Inspector General Michael Horowitz to investigate Acosta’s role in a plea deal for Jeffrey Epstein, a multimillionaire financier. Epstein was convicted in 2008 of soliciting an underage girl for prostitution, but a Miami Herald investigation this week said the allegations against him were originally much broader, accusing him of coercing dozens of underage girls into sex acts.
As of Friday, six lawmakers had signed the letter calling for an investigation and seven others were scheduled to before it’s sent to the Justice Department on Monday, according to a signed draft exclusively obtained by USA TODAY.
“As members of Congress intent on ensuring the equal application of justice and gravely concerned with the plague of sex trafficking and sexual abuse, we urge you to conduct an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the non-prosecution agreement Mr. Acosta entered into with Mr. Epstein,” a draft of the letter reads.
“This lack of public transparency further necessitates an internal review. In the conduct of such investigation, we urge you to review whether any Department of Justice policies, procedures, or practices were violated and determine what, if any, violations were committed.”
The lawmakers, including representatives Frederica Wilson, Darren Soto and Charlie Crist, wrote in the letter that they were making the request out of “great concern.” Acosta, who was hand-picked by President Donald Trump to enforce laws governing child labor, was said to have been a possible nominee to replace ousted Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
But he was bumped from consideration after the Miami Herald’s story, the news organization reported, citing unnamed sources.
The Herald’s explosive report portrays Acosta, who was the top federal prosecutor in Miami from 2005-2009, as malleable and nearly complicit in agreeing to a 2007 plea deal with Epstein.
Acosta, the Herald reported, cut a deal with lawyers for the politically connected Epstein – who has counted Trump, former President Bill Clinton and Prince Andrew among his friends – agreeing to conceal most of the crimes the hedge fund manager was accused of and how many people were involved.
Instead of the lengthy sentence that could have resulted from the 53-page federal indictment he was facing, Epstein pleaded guilty to two prostitution charges and served 13 months in a county jail where he was allowed to leave on work release for up to 12 hours a day, six days a week, the report indicates.
The agreement with Acosta “essentially shut down an ongoing FBI probe’’ that had already discovered 36 victims and could have unveiled other powerful participants in Esptein’s sex crimes, the Herald reported.
The newspaper reports it was able to identify 80 victims – many between 13-16 years of age at the time – who said Epstein had sexually abused or molested them between 2001-2006. Eight of them agreed to be interviewed by the Herald, four on video.
Trump hires nothing but the best.
". . . those who claim to know the Mind of God, who will tell you what God thinks and how He will judge and condemn others—those people are the greatest of all blasphemers." Aloysius Xingu Leng Pendergast
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.