Trump's labour secretary who previously cut a plea deal with Jeffrey Epstein says his alleged crimes 'are horrific' amid calls for him to resign

Evan Vucci/AP Images
  • Embattled Labour Secretary Alex Acosta, who is facing calls to resign, spoke out on the charges against billionaire financier Jeffrey Epstein on Tuesday.
  • “The crimes committed by Epstein are horrific, and I am pleased that NY prosecutors are moving forward with a case based on new evidence,” Acosta tweeted.
  • Acosta also seemingly defended his role in a secret plea deal for Epstein in 2008 that has been criticised as far too lenient, citing “new evidence” that offers an “important opportunity to more fully bring him to justice.”
  • Trump has so far stood by Acosta and on Tuesday told reporters he’s been an excellent labour secretary.
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Facing growing calls from lawmakers for his resignation, President Donald Trump’s embattled Labour Secretary Alex Acosta on Tuesday spoke out on the allegations of sex trafficking against Jeffrey Epstein.

“The crimes committed by Epstein are horrific, and I am pleased that NY prosecutors are moving forward with a case based on new evidence,” Acosta tweeted.

“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 added. “Now that new evidence and additional testimony is available, the NY prosecution offers an important opportunity to more fully bring him to justice.”

While serving as US attorney for Miami in 2008, Acosta helped broker a secret plea deal for Epstein that critics say was far too lenient.


Read more:
The prosecutor who helped cut Jeffrey Epstein’s ultra-lenient plea deal for sex crimes is now Trump’s labour secretary

At the time, Epstein was accused of sexually abusing more than 30 underage girls and could have faced life in prison. But under the secret deal Acosta orchestrated, as first reported by the Miami Herald, Epstein pleaded guilty to less serious charges related to prostitution and spent only 13 months behind bars. Additionally, the billionaire hedge-fund manager also became a registered sex offender and paid settlements to victims.

Epstein’s alleged victims were not informed of the deal. A federal judge in February ruled that the Justice Department violated the Crime Victims’ Rights Act by hiding a non-prosecution agreement with Epstein.

The billionaire financier was arrested on Saturday on suspicion of trafficking dozens of underage girls as young as 14 back in the early 2000s.

Since that time, there have been increasing calls for Acosta to resign, including from Democratic leaders like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

“@SecretaryAcosta must step down,” Pelosi tweeted Monday. “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.”

Trump has so far stood by Acosta and on Tuesday told reporters he’s been an excellent labour secretary. He also said Tuesday he feels badly for Acosta.

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