Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta is scheduled to hold a press conference Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. This comes two days after federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York announced federal charges against convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein. The secretary apparently does not plan to resign over his involvement in Esptein’s Florida case, a Department of Labor official said according to Bloomberg.
New – Labor Secretary Alex Acosta plans to hold a press avail at 2 p.m. today. NOT to resign, but to answer questions and defend his record on his handling of the Epstein matter, according to an official familiar with the plans.
— Seung Min Kim (@seungminkim) July 10, 2019
This makes sense. Acosta has never been one to voluntarily to make himself the center of attention. https://t.co/i9OdyTKz5a
— Ben Penn (@benjaminpenn) July 10, 2019
Acosta was U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida in 2007 when he worked out a non-prosecution agreement with Epstein’s lawyers. Federal prosecutors dropped a federal sex abuse case that have put Epstein behind bars for life. In return, the disgraced billionaire would plead guilty in state court. In the end, he just admitted to a count of soliciting prostitution from an underage girl. He spent only 13 months in jail, much of it in a cozy work release situation. The punishment and adjudicated charge fell far short of what he was accused of doing in the first place: sexually abusing a slew of underage girls.
“This was not a ‘he said, she said’ situation,” said retired Palm Beach Police Chief Michael Reiter in a Miami Herald report that exposed the agreement. “This was 50-something ‘shes’ and one ‘he’ — and the ‘shes’ all basically told the same story.”
A judge ruled in February that the non-prosecution agreement violated the law because the girls were kept in the dark about it.
Now Epstein’s being charged again in federal court for alleged sex trafficking that occurred between 2002 and 2005, prosecutors said. Not only that, but a raid at Epstein’s Manhattan home turned up photographs of apparently underage girls, many of them nude, prosecutors said.
Acosta has faced constant criticism ever since that non-prosecution agreement came to light. The secretary commented on Epstein’s arrest on Tuesday. Though he said he was pleased with the new case, he didn’t substantively address the agreement he reached with Epstein’s lawyer, except to say, “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. Now that new evidence and additional testimony is available, the NY prosecution offers an important opportunity to more fully bring him to justice.” Legal expects mocked him over the statement.
[Image via Alex Wong/Getty Images]