Crime

Alex Acosta Tries to Duck Blame for Going Easy on Billionaire Pedophile Jeffrey Epstein

Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta
Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta Photo by Gage Skidmore / Flickr
President Donald Trump's labor secretary, Alex Acosta, used to be Miami's top federal prosecutor. In his previous role, Acosta gave billionaire pedophile and alleged child rapist Jeffrey Epstein a plea deal so lenient it straight-up violated the law. Thanks to Acosta, Epstein was pretty much allowed to skate by despite the fact he had repeatedly been accused of raping children and helping other extremely rich and famous people — allegedly including Prince Andrew and superlawyer Alan Dershowitz — do the same.

Now, after veteran Miami Herald reporter Julie K. Brown last year exposed how Acosta let Epstein walk away with the deal of a lifetime, Epstein has been arrested on new sex-trafficking charges related to incidents that allegedly occurred in 2005. Critics, including many on the right, are calling for Acosta to resign over what he did. But today he is brazenly trying to tweet his way through this ordeal while deflecting blame:
Notably, Acosta's claim this is somehow "new evidence" is a crock of nonsense. As the Herald and others over the years have reported, Acosta possessed more than enough evidence to put Epstein away for a long, long time. He simply chose not to. And no one has ever explained why.

As Brown reported, Acosta was handed reams of evidence in 2007 that Epstein was serially raping girls — and Acosta still gave Epstein a "non-prosecution agreement" wherein Epstein served only 13 months in Palm Beach County jail (rather than a harsher federal prison) and was allowed to leave for 12 hours at a time, six days per week, to hang out in his cushy office space in Palm Beach. Worse yet, Acosta hid the nature of the deal from Epstein's alleged victims, in violation of federal law. The idea this is somehow "new" evidence is simply hogwash: As Brown reported, the FBI and the U.S. Attorney's Office identified at least 36 alleged Epstein victims a decade ago. (That sweetheart deal also ensured the public never got to know who else might be involved with Epstein — including noted pals Donald Trump and Bill Clinton.)

Brown, a pugnacious and fearless reporter, is now taking Acosta to task:
Acosta's deal also apparently allowed Epstein to resume being a pedophile after his brief stint in federal custody. Prosecutors this week said that when they arrested Epstein and raided his home, they found locked safes full of child pornography, including videos of underage girls.

So, on behalf of every single person on Twitter today: We hope you get stuck inside a well, Mr. Acosta, sir!
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Jerry Iannelli is a former staff writer for Miami New Times from 2015 to March 2020. He graduated with honors from Temple University. He then earned a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University.