THE US Secretary of Labour Alex Acosta has resigned after widespread criticism over his role in paedophile Jeffrey Epstein’s 2008 plea deal.
President Donald Trump said today that the ex-attorney, who was previously Florida’s top prosecutor, would be leaving his post.
Trump told reporters his Labour Secretary Alex Acosta was quitting amid criticism over his handling of a 2008 plea deal for Jeffrey Epstein[/caption]
Billionaire Epstein, accused of abusing girls as young as 14, this week pleaded not guilty to sex trafficking charges in New York.
And Acosta had been facing huge pressure to resign over his role in a “sweetheart” plea deal cut in 2008 which meant the financier only served 13 months in a Florida jail after being convicted of child abuse.
Speaking outside the White House today along Acosta, Trump called the out-going member of his administration a “tremendous talent”, reports CNBC.
He said Acosta has called him this morning telling him of his decision to quit
In 2008, Epstein pleaded guilty to Florida state charges of soliciting and procuring a person under age 18 for prostitution.
However, county officials later granted him permission to leave jail every day as part of a work-release program – a perk Acosta called “B.S” today.
Prosecutors in New York this week said they were not bound by the plea deal which a Palm Beach judge this year ruled was illegal because the victims were not informed or consulted.
Acosta, who was the US Attorney for southern Florida, defended his handling of the sex trafficking case yesterday insisting he got the toughest deal he could at the time.
He insisted that “in our heart we were trying to do the right thing for these victims.”
“We did what we did because we wanted to see Epstein go to jail,” he said. “He needed to go to jail.”
Pressed on whether he had any regrets, Acosta repeatedly suggested that circumstances had changed since the case arose.
Jeffrey Epstein was given a ‘sweetheart deal’ in 2008 because it was believed he was an ‘intelligence asset’[/caption]
“We now have 12 years of knowledge and hindsight and we live in a very different world,” he said. “Today’s world treats victims very, very differently.”
Democratic presidential contenders and party leaders had been calling for Acosta to resign or be fired, and he has been called to testify in front of the House Oversight Committee on July 23.
Acosta yesterday also dodged a reporter’s question about the explosive claims that Epstein may have been an “intelligence asset.”
According to the Daily Beast, President Donald Trump’s transition team asked Acosta, while vetting him for his role in the White House, about the lenient treatment of the paedo.
One source claims that the attorney-turned politician said he had “been told” to go easy on the billionaire banker because he “Epstein ‘belonged to intelligence’ and to leave it alone.”
Today, a reporter put the claims to Acosta at a press conference, saying: “Were you ever made aware at any point in your handling of this case that Mr. Epstein was an intelligence asset of some sort?”
Acosta did not confirm or deny the claims.
He replied: “There has been reporting to that effect.
“And let me say, there’s been reporting to a lot of effects in this case, not just now but over the years. And again I would hesitant to take this reporting as fact.
“This was a case that was brought by our office. It was brought based on the facts.
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“And I look at the reporting and others, I can’t address it directly because of our guidelines, but I can tell you that a lot of reporting is going down rabbit holes.”
In her report, Daily Beast journalist Vicky Ward claims she wrote a profile of Epstein for Vanity Fair in 2003 in which her editor deleted allegations from alleged victims’ of the banker.
She tweeted: “I tried to expose Jeffrey Epstein for what he is and I was silenced.
“Everyone who knew about Epstein was – silenced by people with more money and power and influence.”
Epstein didn't check in with NYPD in EIGHT years
- Epstein never once checked in with New York City cops in the eight-plus years since a Manhattan judge ordered him to do so every 90 days, reports the NY Post.
- After being labelled a worst-of-the-worst, Level 3 sex offender in 2011, Epstein should have reported in person to verify his address 34 times before he was arrested Saturday.
- However, the NYPD maintains that the banker wasn’t required to check in with New York cops because he claims his primary residence is a private island, Little St. James Island, in the US Virgin Islands.
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