Tag Archives: Acosta

Labor Secretary Acosta resigns amid fallout over Epstein plea deal

Labor Secretary Acosta resigns amid fallout over Epstein plea dealPresident Trump’s embattled labor secretary, Alexander Acosta, resigned on Friday amid a firestorm over the sweetheart deal he struck with accused child sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein in Miami 11 years ago.



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With Acosta in crosshairs, Trump unleashes tweet barrage at everything else he can think of

With Acosta in crosshairs, Trump unleashes tweet barrage at everything else he can think ofThe president published a multi-tweet rant on a host of unrelated subjects that seemed intended to shift attention away from the controversy surrounded his embattled labor secretary.



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Alexander Acosta: Trump official who helped paedophile Epstein evade prosecution wants to slash funding for fighting child sex trafficking

Alexander Acosta: Trump official who helped paedophile Epstein evade prosecution wants to slash funding for fighting child sex traffickingAlexander Acosta \- who was recently found out to have helped paedophile Jeffery Epstein evade justice – now wants to cut 80 per cent of funding to the government agency that combats child sex trafficking. The US labour secretary plans to reduce the International Labour Affairs Bureau’s (ILAB) funding from $ 68m to $ 18.5m in the Department of Labours' 2020 fiscal year. ​The ILAB works to combat human trafficking and forced labour, particularly with cases of children.Mr Acosta came under fire after it emerged that he had granted Epstein immunity from federal prosecution in 2008 while he was being investigated for his part in a child sex trafficking ring. The reduction of funds has been heavily criticised by congress members, including Katherine Clark, a Massachusetts Democrat who called Mr Acosta’s proposal “reckless” and “immoral”. Speaking to The Guardian, Ms Clark said this funding cut shows a pattern: “Like so many in this administration Mr Acosta chooses the powerful and wealthy over the vulnerable and victims of sexual assault and it is time that he finds another line of work.”“I’m sure this is a very uncomfortable topic for him,” Ms Clark said, “but I don’t think he should be able to hide from it.”Mr Acosta has been facing growing pressure from Democrats like Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi to resign in the wake of the revelation of the 2008 plea deal that he had oversaw, where an FBI investigation concentrating on Mr Epstein’s relationships with over 30 potentially underage girls was shut down. Epstein pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of solicitation in the state, and the children were labelled prostitutes. Epstein served just 13 months in a Florida minimum security prison.Donald Trump has attempted to minimise Mr Acosta’s role in the 2008 deal, saying: “I hear there were a lot of people involved in that decision, not just him.”Mr Trump also noted Mr Acosta was “an excellent secretary of labour” and said: “The rest of it we’ll have to look at very carefully but you are talking about a long time ago.”



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Donald Trump defends Acosta role in plea deal involving accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein

Donald Trump defends Acosta role in plea deal involving accused sex trafficker Jeffrey EpsteinPresident Donald Trump defended Labor Secretary Alex Acosta amid calls for his resignation over his role in cutting a plea deal with Jeffrey Epstein.



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Republicans — and some Dems — stand by Acosta amid Jeffrey Epstein charges

Republicans — and some Dems — stand by Acosta amid Jeffrey Epstein chargesSenators who voted to confirm Trump's Labor secretary are resisting demands for his ouster, despite the explosive indictment against Epstein.



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Calls mount for Labor Sec. Acosta to resign over plea deal for alleged pedophile Epstein

Calls mount for Labor Sec. Acosta to resign over plea deal for alleged pedophile EpsteinIn the wake of the arrest of financier Jeffrey Epstein on sex-trafficking charges, Democratic leaders are calling for the resignation of Labor chief Alex Acosta, who negotiated a plea deal that resulted in an exceptionally light sentence for Epstein on similar charges a decade ago.



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Why Trump Is Standing by Acosta on the Epstein Plea Deal

Why Trump Is Standing by Acosta on the Epstein Plea DealPhoto Illustration by The Daily Beast/GettySince late last year, different factions have been pressuring Donald Trump to sack Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta, but as of Tuesday evening, the president was still sticking to a script that he’s honed when confronting allegations against his powerful friends and allies: double down and stand by your man.  “For two and a half years, he’s been just an excellent secretary of Labor. He’s done a fantastic job,” Trump told reporters on Tuesday. “If you go back and look at everybody else’s decisions, whether it’s a U.S. attorney or an assistant U.S. attorney or a judge… I would think you’d probably find that they would wish they maybe did it a different way. I do hear that there were a lot of people involved in that decision, not just him. I can only say this from what I know, and what I do is he’s been a great—really great—secretary of Labor.”The president added that “we’ll look at it very carefully, we’ll be looking at that very carefully, OK?” In February, Trump’s then-press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the White House was “certainly looking into” Secretary Acosta’s handling of a secret plea deal. It is unclear if that review ever concluded or even started, and if Trump on Tuesday was referring to a different, or the same, alleged internal review.It’s not the first time in this administration—or in his life as a businessman—Trump has expressed sympathy with his powerful friends and allies in the face of damning allegations, even in situations where people have been accused of horrific sexual assault.Still, some of Trump’s aides and confidants have privately urged the president to show Acosta the door. And many of the Labor secretary’s prominent defenders have gone publicly silent as the Epstein scandal mounts.Starting in at least late February, several close advisers and aides have recommended to President Trump that he ditch Secretary Acosta, in large part due to public-relations damage done by a Miami Herald investigative series, according to one senior administration official and another source with knowledge of the conversations. In February, a federal judge also ruled that prosecutors in Florida, including Acosta, broke the law in signing the plea agreement with Epstein.“The administration should have gotten rid of Acosta after the original Miami Herald story,” said a former Trump administration official. “Even if he did nothing technically illegal, the optics of the plea deal are awful. To give a monster like Epstein such a friendly deal should disqualify Acosta from ever holding another job in the public sector again.”On top of that, some top officials have recently and repeatedly complained about what they view as Acosta’s insufficiently ruthless approach to deregulation.“I think the president is right now thinking that this thing is deeper than Acosta,” former Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA), a Trump surrogate, said on Tuesday. “I don’t think he’s going to let the Democrats get away with making this all about Acosta… The great thing that the Trump presidency has established is that the traditional thinking about ‘people are saying bad things about me, I gotta run and hide,’ is over. [President Trump has] challenged the very notion that if someone accuses you of something, you’re gone. He’s given people the chance to live another day.”But, Kingston said, if Acosta “starts cowering, then I think it’s over for him.”For now, the secretary of Labor is sticking to his guns, but in recent weeks, federal prosecutors in Georgia met with victims to discuss potential remedies to Epstein’s illegal 2007 plea agreement inked by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Miami—and at least one victim demanded that Acosta resign.Spencer Kuvin, the attorney for that victim, said her priority is to see Epstein charged for his Florida crimes. She also asked for the government to make Epstein’s entire case file public, including external and internal communications within Acosta’s former office relating to the financier’s sweetheart deal. “And then lastly, I know my client said, ‘I want Acosta to step down,’” Kuvin told The Daily Beast last month.Earlier this year, a federal judge ruled Acosta’s office violated the Crime Victims’ Rights Act by keeping Epstein’s victims in the dark about the controversial 2007 non-prosecution agreement (NPA). Indeed, Acosta and his team worked behind closed doors (including at a secret “breakfast meeting,” according to court records) with Epstein’s high-powered attorneys to downgrade the charges to state court. On Tuesday, Kuvin said of Acosta, “It’s truly unbelievable that he continues to hold a job in one of the highest offices of the United States.”“So now you have a U.S. Attorney who broke the law who is now running the Department of Labor,” Kuvin told The Daily Beast. “How does somebody like that keep their job?”“It’s unfathomable that the president would keep someone like that on the job. But sadly, it’s unsurprising given Trump’s history with the defendant in this case. Trump socialized with Epstein. He was photographed with Epstein, called him a ‘terrific guy,’” Kuvin said, referring to Trump’s 2002 praises of the pervy financier.“They lived only blocks away from each other in Palm Beach,” Kuvin added of Epstein and Trump, “ran in the same circles, went to the same parties.”“Epstein is a man who has and had very powerful friends,” Kuvin said. “Whether a royal in England, with his friendship with Prince Andrew, Trump here in the United States, politicians like [Bill] Clinton that he knew and socialized with.”Kuvin continued, “The press needs to stay vigilant now on Epstein Part 2. Because in Epstein Part 1, he got all the breaks.”Meanwhile, Jane Does 1 and 2, who sued the government over Epstein’s plea deal, have asked to meet personally with Acosta, as well as the current U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida—a request the feds ignored in their own court filings. The victims filed court papers on Tuesday in response to the feds, which are arguing that Epstein’s shady NPA should be upheld. (The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia is representing the government, after prosecutors in South Florida, where the Jane Doe case was filed, recused themselves.)“While Mr. Acosta has chosen not to speak to the Epstein victims previously, he has chosen to make public statements—when it has served his purposes,” the Jane Does stated in the filing. “For example, in a March 2011 statement released to the media (but not to Epstein’s victims), Acosta claimed that going to trial against Epstein would have faced a ‘reduced likelihood of success.’ That claim seemed dubious at the time—and yesterday’s indictment in New York casts further doubt on it.”“Mr. Acosta should explain to Epstein’s Florida’s victims why his judgment was so much different than the skilled prosecutors in New York,” they added.For his part, Acosta has been tweeting about Epstein’s bust in New York, and in defense of his handling of the money-manager’s case a decade ago. “The crimes committed by Epstein are horrific, and I am pleased that NY prosecutors are moving forward with a case based on new evidence,” he wrote Tuesday.“With the evidence available more than a decade ago, federal prosecutors insisted that Epstein go to jail, register as a sex offender and put the world on notice that he was a sexual predator,” Acosta added, referring to his old Miami office. Kuvin wasn’t buying the damage control. “Basically what Acosta is saying,” Kuvin said, “is that SDNY did a better job investigating than they did.”Jack Scarola, an attorney who represents the Jane Does, told The Daily Beast that Trump should join the chorus of people demanding answers on Acosta's role in Epstein's soft treatment and why the deal was kept secret from the dozens of underage girls Epstein molested."Federal District Court Judge Kenneth Marra has detailed the factual basis for his specific finding that then-US Attorney Acosta entered into an illegal agreement with attorneys for Jeffrey Epstein to actively conceal from Epstein’s child victims the existence of the Government’s plea deal with Epstein," Scarola said.But "the victims were not only kept in the dark, they were actively lied to by government agents," Scarola added. "Hiding the secret deal was inexcusable. The terms of the secret deal are totally unjustifiable. The available evidence of Epstein’s guilt was overwhelming a decade ago when Epstein was granted immunity from federal prosecution. Any contrary assertion alleging weaknesses in the case is absurd. That position is clearly evidenced by the decision of the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York to prosecute Epstein more than a decade after his years of child molestation and rape."Scarola said the fact that Acosta's office also gave Epstein's co-conspirators immunity is "even more egregious."“That kind of get-out-of-jail-free card is unprecedented and a patent abuse of prosecutorial discretion,” Scarola added. “Mr. Acosta has a lot of explaining to do and none of his public statements to date come anywhere close to providing a rational explanation.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. 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Pelosi and Schumer: Trump Labor Secretary Acosta must resign over plea deal for Jeffrey Epstein

Pelosi and Schumer: Trump Labor Secretary Acosta must resign over plea deal for Jeffrey EpsteinFormer Vice President Joe Biden also called on Acosta to resign, writing on Twitter that "The abuse of a child is one of the most heinous, despicable abuses of power imaginable."



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Donald Trump defends Alex Acosta as fallout from Jeffrey Epstein case spreads

Donald Trump defends Alex Acosta as fallout from Jeffrey Epstein case spreadsDonald Trump’s labour secretary is facing mounting calls to resign over his role in the decade-long saga of accused sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, as powerful men across America scrambled to distance themselves from the financier. Alex Acosta was the US attorney for Southern Florida when, in 2008, he agreed to a non-prosecution deal aggressively pushed by Epstein’s high-powered legal team. Epstein, 66, was accused of procuring girls as young as 14 to visit his mansion, and paying them to perform massages, which then turned into sexual acts. Epstein pleaded guilty to a state charge of soliciting prostitution, paid a fine, registered as a sexual predator and served 13 months of an 18-month sentence. Much of the sentence was spent at Epstein’s Palm Beach office, under a work-release programme. No federal charges were filed. Epstein’s arrest on Saturday, and his appearance in court in New York on Monday, have shone an uncomfortable spotlight on Mr Acosta’s role in the story. Jeffrey Epstein in court in Manhattan on Monday, with his lawyers Martin Weinberg, left, and Marc Fernich. He pleaded not guilty On Tuesday Mr Trump praised his labour secretary’s record in the White House, and defended the embattled Cabinet member – one of the few who has been in his role from the beginning. "What happened with respect to 12 or 13 years ago – you know, if you go back and look at everybody's decisions, I would think you would probably find they wish they did it in a different way,” said Mr Trump. “I think there were a lot of people in that position not just him. We'll have to look very carefully but it was a decision made I think not by him but a lot of people." Mr Acosta insists that his deal ensured that Epstein faced a degree of punishment. "The crimes committed by Epstein are horrific, and I am pleased that NY prosecutors are moving forward with a case based on new evidence," tweeted Mr Acosta. "With the evidence available more than a decade ago, federal prosecutors insisted that Epstein go to jail, register as a sex offender and put the world on notice that he was a sexual predator," he continued. "Now that new evidence and additional testimony is available, the NY prosecution offers an important opportunity to more fully bring him to justice." Kellyanne Conway, Mr Trump’s senior advisor, also sprang to his defence, saying: “I hope we’re all paying attention to who the true perpetrator is here.” But the Democrats have seized on Mr Acosta’s involvement, and both Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the House, and Chuck Schumer, leader of the Senate, have called for him to resign. They claim that the 2008 deal was made without out informing Epstein’s accusers – a legal requirement. A series of articles in the Miami Herald in November led to court challenges to the deal Mr Acosta brokered. “@SecretaryAcosta must step down,” said Mrs Pelosi. “As US Attorney, he engaged in an unconscionable agreement w/ Jeffrey Epstein kept secret from courageous, young victims preventing them from seeking justice. This was known by @POTUS when he appointed him to the cabinet. AcostaResign” Mr Schumer went further, demanding that Mr Trump account for his own friendship with Epstein. In 2002 Mr Trump was asked about Epstein for a New York magazine profile, and was reported as responding: “I’ve known Jeff for fifteen years. Terrific guy. 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.” Mr Schumer said: “The president needs to answer for his relationship with Epstein. Epstein was reportedly a regular at the Mar-a-Lago club. ‘I don’t recall is not an acceptable answer in this case’, particularly given that Mr Trump appointed Mr Acosta.” Geoffrey Berman, US attorney for the Southern District of New York, speaks during a news conference about the arrest of Epstein Mr Trump is attempting to distance himself from Epstein, saying on Tuesday: "I knew him like everyone in Palm Beach knew him. I had a falling out with him a long time ago, maybe 15 years ago. I was not a fan of his I can tell you.” Alan Garten, a lawyer for the Trump Organization, has said Mr Trump had “no relationship” with Epstein. Mrs Conway insisted that Mr Trump was unaware of the scandal and called the allegations “disgusting”. “I talked to the president this morning,” she said. “He hasn't talked or had contact with Epstein in years and years and years — and over a decade at least, he said. “And he, like everyone else, sees these charges, the description of these charges against Epstein, as completely unconscionable and obviously criminal. Disgusting, really.” Epstein’s address book, published by the website Gawker in 2015, listed Mr Trump’s contact information alongside that of hundreds of other people, including former president Bill Clinton and Prince Andrew. On Monday night Mr Clinton issued a statement saying he had taken four trips on the billionaire’s private plane, and made “one brief visit” to Epstein’s home in New York – alongside a “staff member and his security detail” – in 2002. Jeffrey Epstein's home in the Upper East Side of New York The $ 56 million (£45m) property, one of the largest private homes in Manhattan, featured photos of Woody Allen and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia on the wall, besides photos of Epstein with Mr Clinton. The two men also met at Clinton’s Harlem office “around the same time” as the apartment visit, the statement said. "President Clinton knows nothing about the terrible crimes Jeffrey Epstein pleaded guilty to in Florida some years ago, or those with which he has been recently charged in New York," said Angel Ureña, Mr Clinton’s spokesman. The statement did not mention that a former charity of Epstein’s, the C.O.U.Q. Foundation, donated $ 25,000 to Bill and Hillary Clinton’s charity in 2006 and was recently listed among past and present donors on the Clinton Foundation’s website.



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Pelosi, Schumer Call on Secretary Acosta to Resign for His 'Unconscionable' Role in Jeffrey Epstein Scandal

Pelosi, Schumer Call on Secretary Acosta to Resign for His 'Unconscionable' Role in Jeffrey Epstein ScandalAcosta oversaw a lenient plea deal Epstein accepted in 2008



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