In his time as Secretary of Labor, Alex Acosta has done much to accommodate liberals and little implement a conservative agenda. His inaction has attracted little criticism — virtually none unless you count the occasional posts about I have written for Power Line.
To make matters worse, President Trump, although he has attacked other cabinet members — especially Jeff Sessions and Kirstjen Nielsen — has had nothing but public praise for Acosta. He lumps Acosta with Alex Azar, the Secretary of HHS, and touts them as “his two Alex’s.” Azar deserves the praise. Acosta does not.
Trump may have to think twice before praising Acosta again, however. In a blockbuster story, the Miami Herald reports that, as a federal prosecutor in South Florida Acosta gave pedophile Jeffrey Epstein the “deal of a lifetime.”
Failing to populate the Labor Department’s Administrative Review Board or to overturn the Obama-era policies of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs may draw yawns even from those who know about it. Agreeing to a sweet deal with a notorious pedophile is quite another story.
Readers may recall that Epstein is the guy who operated the “Lolita Express” which transported underage females to his private island for his sexual pleasure. Bill Clinton, Epstein’s friend, reportedly hitched some rides. (Donald Trump’s name appeared in Epstein’s little black book of personal phone numbers, according to the Herald..)
Epstein’s practice, according to his victims, was to lure girls aged 13 to 16, to his mansion for a “massage.” He would molest them, paying extra for oral sex and intercourse, and offering more money to bring him new girls. In effect, this was an underage sex pyramid scheme.
According to the Herald’s reporting, a federal investigation revealed 36 underage victims of Epstein (the Herald apparently found dozens of additional ones). Yet, through a plea agreement with then-U.S. Attorney Acosta, Epstein managed to plead to only two state prostitution charges. He served 13 months in state prison, where he was housed in a private wing at the Palm Beach County jail and allowed work release privileges. Epstein’s year of “incarceration” reportedly included trips to New York and the Virgin Islands.
Not only did Epstein avoid a federal trial but, again according to the Herald, the agreement “essentially shut down an ongoing FBI probe” and further granted immunity to “any potential co-conspirators” in the case. Epstein was, however, required to register as a sex offender.
Shutting down the federal investigation apparently was not just Epstein’s priority, it was also Acosta’s. The Herald says: “Documents show Acosta, then a federal prosecutor, didn’t just buckle under pressure from Epstein’s lawyers; he and other prosecutors worked with them to contain the case — even as the FBI was uncovering evidence of a wider sex trafficking operation.”
Moreover, again according to the Herald:
The pact Epstein negotiated with federal prosecutors was sealed so that no one — not even his victims — could know the full scope of his crimes. Court records, letters and emails show that the deal was negotiated, signed and executed behind victims’ backs.
This was contrary to the requirements of federal law, says the Herald. And the agreement was sealed until after it was approved by the judge, thereby averting any chance that the girls — or anyone else — might show up in court and try to derail it.
Bradley Edwards, a former state prosecutor who represents some of Epstein’s victims, asks: “How in the world, do you, the U.S. attorney, engage in a negotiation with a criminal defendant, basically allowing that criminal defendant to write up the agreement?” It’s a good question.
The theme of my posts about Acosta’s shocking tenure as Secretary of Labor, and also as head of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, is his willingness, if not eagerness, to accommodate Democrats and Democrat interests. But I never imagined that his willingness to accommodate extended to well-connected pedophiles.
According to some reports, Acosta is among those President Trump may be considering for the Attorney General position. Eliana Johnson says a senior White House aide tells her that the Miami Herald story about Acosta striking a deal on Jeffrey Epstein will absolutely hamper his chances of becoming Attorney General.
One would hope so. Indeed, if the Herald’s reporting is on the mark or close, it should bring his time as Secretary of Labor to an end.