- Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi called for the resignation of Labour Secretary Alex Acosta for his involvement in a non-prosecution deal for financier Jeffrey Epstein, who was then being investigated under suspicion of sexually abusing underage girls in Florida.
- The non-prosecution deal reached with then-US Attorney in Miami Acosta required Epstein to plead guilty to state counts of soliciting prostitution and to register as a sex offender.
- As part of the deal, Epstein served 13 months in a private wing of a county jail and was allowed leave the jail six days a week to work out of his Palm Beach office.
- “This was known by [President Donald Trump] when he appointed him to the cabinet,” Pelosi wrote in the Tweet.
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The indictment of financier Jeffrey Epstein on charges of child sex trafficking and conspiracy to commit sex trafficking reignited demands for Labour Secretary Alex Acosta’s resignation, including from Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.
Pelosi tweeted on Monday, calling on Acosta to “step down” over his “unconscionable agreement” regarding a non-prosecution deal he cut regarding Epstein in 2007, which was reported in detail by The Miami Herald.
.@SecretaryAcosta must step down. 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
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) July 9, 2019
Acosta, who was then a US Attorney in Miami, signed a deal that only called for Epstein – who was staring down a 53-page federal indictment related to accusations of sex trafficking – to plead guilty to two counts of soliciting prostitution and register as a sex offender.
As part of the agreement, he only served 13 months in a private wing of a county jail that allowed him to leave the jail six days a week on a work arrangement, according to The Miami Herald.
The deal was unknown to the alleged victims, which Pelosi noted in her tweet.
“As US Attorney, he engaged in an unconscionable agreement w/ Jeffrey Epstein kept secret from courageous, young victims preventing them from seeking justice,” she wrote.
Under federal law, it is required that crime victims be made aware of plea bargains, according to the Associated Press.
“This was known by [President Donald Trump] when he appointed him to the cabinet,” Pelosi added.
Acosta has defended the deal. According to The Washington Post, “Acosta in 2011 wrote a letter seeking to explain his reasoning, saying that he faced ‘a year-long assault on the prosecution and the prosecutors’ by ‘an army of legal superstars.’ He also wrote that defence lawyers ‘investigated individual prosecutors and their families, looking for personal peccadilloes that may provide a basis for disqualification.'” During his Senate confirmation hearing, Acosta said that the deal had requried Epstein to register as a sex offender and serve a jail sentence.
Epstein was arrested on Saturday, related to new federal charges of sex trafficking and conspiracy to commit sex trafficking. He pleaded not guilty to the charges on Monday in court.
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