Monday on MSNBC’s “All In,” Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) called for Trump administration Labor Secretary Alex Acosta to step down over the plea deal he gave billionaire Jeffrey Epstein on child sex trafficking charges in 2008 when he was an attorney for the Southern District of Florida.
While discussing Epstein’s new indictment that he operated a sex trafficking ring, Kaine said,”Well, I am glad that it looks like Epstein might finally get justice for his victimization of so many of these young girls because the sweetheart deal that Secretary Acosta cut for him when he was U.S. attorney in Miami really allowed him to evade justice. So it looks like somebody’s final taking this case seriously. I am on the committee that interviewed, at the hearing Secretary Acosta for his position, his answers about this deal did not add up then. I voted against him for that reason. And subsequent events, both the federal court ruling in Miami in February and the indictment today show that Epstein is a predator and Acosta cut a secret, illegal sweetheart outrageous deal and he shouldn’t hold the job that he currently holds. He needs to go as secretary of labor.
He continued, “It was clear to me at the time he was trying to downplay his responsibility for this deal, and it just didn’t add up. He was the U.S. Attorney who was the key guy behind the non-prosecution agreement that let Epstein off in such an egregious way. And, you know, the thing about this case that was so outrageous, first, it was illegal to not tell the victims about the deal. Subsequently found they took substantive steps to hide the deal from the victims. It was outrageously light in terms of a sentence. But the thing that makes me the maddest is Acosta allowed Epstein to plead guilty to prostitution charges. These were not prostitutes. They were teenage sex trafficking victims that Epstein sex trafficked, maybe assaulted, possibly raped, and yet what Acosta did was very victimize these youngsters by allowing a prostitution charge to suggest that they were prostitutes. It’s outrageous. Now, you got to know, Acosta is currently the secretary of Labor who has enforcement responsibility. In his past activities, he’s shown he would side with the powerful and throw the vulnerable under the bus. That’s the last kind of person you need as an enforcer of the labor laws of this country.”
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