What friendship? Donald dumps Epstein after child sex charges

U.S. hedge fund billionaire charged with sex trafficking minors

'The crimes committed by Epstein are horrific, and I am pleased that NY prosecutors are moving forward with a case based on new evidence, ' Acosta wrote on Twitter Tuesday, a day after prosecutors charged Epstein with trafficking in underage girls.

The federal 2007 non-prosecution agreement in Florida, where Acosta was serving as a USA attorney, allowed Epstein to reach a plea deal in 2008 on a lesser prostitution offence and serve 13 months in a county jail, with leave during the day.

Two decades ago, Trump, years before he entered politics, posed for pictures with Epstein at Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida. And finally, what is completely unprecedented and that I've never seen is this very broad agreement that they would not prosecute any of Epstein's co-conspirators. The rest of it, we'll have to look at, we'll have to look at it very carefully. Both men eventually left the cabinet.

Acosta would not say if he would make the same decision regarding Epstein again today. He said he knew the financier, but had a "falling out" with him long ago and they have not spoken in 15 years.

FILE - U.S. Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta speaks at JLS Automation, in York, Pennsylavania, June 6, 2019. And, he added, "you're talking about a long time ago".

U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar, who is seeking the party's 2020 presidential nomination, Patty Murray and Tim Kaine also called for his resignation.

"On Monday evening, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) tweeted: ".@SecretaryAcosta must step down.

She went on to say that Gerald Lefcourt, one of Epstein's attorneys during his original arrest, claimed in a letter that has since been made public that Epstein was an original funder of the Clinton Global Initiative (Disclosure: Lefcourt's byline has appeared on a couple of Law&Crime op-eds in the past).

Schumer said "the president needs to answer for this" - a reference to Epstein's frequent visits to Mar-a-Lago - and added that "I don't not recall" was "not an acceptable answer in this case".

"Alex Acosta should resign as Labor Secretary", Sen.

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President Trump was asked about Epstein - a billionaire who rubbed shoulders with celebrities and world leaders - while speaking to reporters on Tuesday.

"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", an open letter to Mr Trump, signed by 19 Democratic members of Congress, read.

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell called the allegations against Epstein horrendous and it was "good news that they're being pursued further".

United States prosecutors in NY accused Epstein, 66, of sex trafficking in an indictment that detailed how he lured dozens of girls, some as young as 14, to his luxury homes and coerced them into performing sex acts.

Epstein has pleaded not guilty to new charges in New York City.

Trump spoke approvingly about Epstein in a 2002 magazine profile, calling him a "terrific guy".

Acosta's opponents argued that the plea deal he approved in Florida allowed Epstein to continue his pattern of sexual misconduct. Back then Epstein was sentenced to 13-months in prison and was given work release, so he could leave jail to work from his office. "I am particularly disturbed by this reporting indicating that federal prosecutors went out of their way to arrange this sweetheart deal for Epstein and hide it from the women and girls that he abused who could have objected to it, in apparent violation of federal law".

"A 10-year-old prosecution like this one by a different district is extremely rare and unsafe, even if the previous plea agreement is later viewed as a really bad one", said David O. Markus, a prominent Miami defense attorney not involved in the case.

Epstein counted Bill Clinton, Donald Trump and Prince Andrew among his acquaintances and friends. None of those people was mentioned in the indictment and prosecutors declined to comment on anyone said to be associated with Epstein.

"I opposed Secretary Acosta's nomination, and voted against his confirmation".

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