For those who have been reading for a bit, you may remember that I covered the ugly case of Jeffrey Epstein, the wealthy financier (and party pal to Presidents Trump and Clinton) who was given a maddeningly lenient sentence back in 2008.
Epstein was credibly charged with sex trafficking teen girls and using them as “entertainment” at parties on his various properties and with a host of other wealthy men.
Epstein’s great fortune came by way of then-Miami U.S. Attorney Alex Acosta.
Acosta, the guy who was supposed to be prosecuting Epstein’s horrendous case basically gave this sexual predator a slap on the wrist. A nonprosecution deal was struck, and Epstein was only required to do 13 months of detention, in a Palm Beach, Florida jail, with almost daily work release, and his own, personal security detail.
He pleaded guilty to state charges for one victim, paid out settlements to others, and is now registered as a sex offender.
He basically got to live his normal life, with the only thing really missing being the underaged sex parties he’d throw for all his creepy pals.
And for those rolling all this horror over in your minds right now, this is where I point out that Alex Acosta is currently serving as President Trump’s pick for Labor Secretary.
Not a bad bump up for someone who perverted the path of justice in such a treacherous manner. He failed those young girls.
Did I mention that the Labor Secretary is involved in overseeing and identifying potential cases of human sex trafficking?
No, this is not parody. It only feels that way.
So why is this back in the news?
It’s in the news because Acosta screwed up, and Epstein’s victims still need justice.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said Friday that the administration is “looking into” Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta’s role in securing a lenient plea deal for politically connected sex offender Jeffrey Epstein that a judge said was illegally concealed from his dozens of victims.
“My understanding is it is a very complicated case, certainly something we’re looking into,” Sanders told reporters a day after a federal judge in Florida ruled that prosecutors, led by Acosta, had broken the law by signing a non-prosecution agreement with Epstein without notifying his sex abuse victims.
Acosta was supposed to be watching out for them and the rule of law. He did not.
Would this deal have still been struck, were Epstein not wealthy, or politically connected?
I’m going to guess the answer to that is a resounding, “NO!”
Sanders said she believed prosecutors “made the best possible decision and deal they could have gotten at the time, but again, that’s something we’re looking into.” Asked if President Donald Trump still had confidence in Acosta, Sanders said, “We’re looking into the matter but I’m not aware of any changes.”
Donald Trump has previously said of his buddy, Epstein, that he always had beautiful women around him, and some of them were “on the young side.”
Yeah. You can say that, again.
So what, exactly, is he saying today, now that he’s president?
Asked directly by reporters later in the day if he had any “concerns” about Acosta, Trump said, “I don’t know much about it. He’s done a great job as labor secretary. That seems like a long time ago.”
Ask the victims if it has been a long time ago.
Acosta was actively involved in the negotiations, according to documents that were introduced into evidence in a lawsuit by two victims who said their rights were violated. That included an email between Acosta and one of Epstein’s lawyers, former Whitewater special prosecutor Ken Starr, where he agreed to temporarily hold off on sending out victim notification letters at Starr’s request.
Still, Acosta feels he did nothing wrong.
Acosta downplayed his office’s actions at his Senate confirmation hearing last year, testifying “There was a time when keeping something confidential was less of an issue, but the public expectation today is that things be very public.”
Yes, it’s hard to keep those dirty deals in the shadows, these days. Some of these prosecutors might have to actually do their jobs.