Several Democrats in the Florida delegation are calling on President Donald Trump to demand U.S. Labor Sec. Alexander Acosta resign due to his handling of sex abuse charges made against businessman Jeffrey Epstein.
Florida Democrat U.S. Reps. Lois Frankel and Debbie Wasserman Schultz joined U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., in sending a letter to Trump calling on Acosta, a former U.S. attorney in South Florida, to resign “due to his severe mishandling of the Epstein case, reinforced by the recent ruling by U.S. District Judge Kenneth Marra, which found that the secretary violated the Crime Victims’ Rights Act (CVRA) by secretly arranging a plea deal.” Florida Democrat U.S. Reps. Kathy Castor, Ted Deutch and Debbie Mucarsel-Powell also signed the letter.
“This despicable unjust plea deal that was arranged by Acosta showed no respect for the suffering of the victims and credible accounts of human trafficking and was a clear abuse of power for political gain,” the representatives wrote. “We strongly believe that Secretary Acosta was negligent in his duty to represent the best interests of the victims and the U.S. government. As such, we request that you immediately demand his letter of resignation.”
“Mr. Epstein, a billionaire with deep political connections, has been accused of molesting and trafficking over 80 young women, according to various reports, since the early 2000s,” Frankel’s office noted. “Despite abundant evidence and multiple witnesses still willing to come forward, then-U.S. Attorney Acosta failed to charge Epstein under federal trafficking laws, which could have put Epstein away for life. Instead, he pleaded guilty to far lesser prostitution-related charges and served only 13 months in a private wing of a county jail, but was able to leave 6 days a week for 12 hours at a time. This Thursday, the Florida District judge ruled that Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta violated the Crime Victims’ Rights Act (CVRA) when he was a U.S. Attorney by not notifying the victims of the plea deal or allowing them to object.”
“My understanding is it is a very complicated case, certainly something we’re looking into,” White House Spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders told the press last week, insisting prosecutors “made the best possible decision and deal they could have gotten at the time, but again, that’s something we’re looking into.”