How Labor Secretary Alex Acosta Is Complicit in Jeffrey Epstein’s Abuse of Young Girls

Lead Photo: Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta testifies during a House Appropriations Committee hearing on the Labor Budget for Fiscal Year 2020. Photo by Al Drago/Getty Images
Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta testifies during a House Appropriations Committee hearing on the Labor Budget for Fiscal Year 2020. Photo by Al Drago/Getty Images
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United States Secretary of Labor Alex Acosta is complicit in Jeffrey Epstein’s abuse of young women and girls. On Monday, Epstein was indicted on federal child sex trafficking charges in New York. He faced similar charges in Florida about a decade ago, but he avoided federal prison in a secretive agreement that Acosta, who was the US attorney for the Southern District of Florida at the time, facilitated.

A series of stories from Miami Herald reporter Julie K. Brown revealed that Acosta and Epstein’s attorneys worked to reach a deal that was kept secret from the victims. “Not only would Epstein serve just 13 months in the county jail, but the deal – called a non-prosecution agreement – essentially shut down an ongoing FBI probe into whether there were more victims and other powerful people who took part in Epstein’s sex crimes, according to a Miami Herald examination of thousands of emails, court documents, and FBI records,” Brown wrote in an article titled “How a future Trump Cabinet member gave a serial sex abuser the deal of a lifetime.” “The pact required Epstein to plead guilty to two prostitution charges in state court. Epstein and four of his accomplices named in the agreement received immunity from all federal criminal charges. But even more unusual, the deal included wording that granted immunity to ‘any potential co-conspirators’ who were also involved in Epstein’s crimes.”

While Monday’s news is not the first time that people have called for Acosta’s resignation, it has put Acosta – whose current job oversees the United States’ human trafficking laws – under further scrutiny. Several politicians and public figures have spoken out against him.

With pressure building, Acosta took to Twitter to respond. “The crimes committed by Epstein are horrific, and I am pleased that NY prosecutors are moving forward with a case based on new evidence,” he wrote. “With the evidence available more than a decade ago, federal prosecutors insisted that Epstein go to jail, register as a sex offender and put the world on notice that he was a sexual predator. Now that the new evidence and additional testimony is available, the NY prosecution offers an important opportunity to more fully bring him to justice.”

But despite what Acosta said, Epstein continued to harm and take advantage of women and young girls. In light of this, several politicians have issued statements about Acosta and his role in Epstein’s case. Below, read what they had to say.

Julián Castro

Elizabeth Warren

Amy Klobuchar

Nancy Pelosi

Chuck Schumer

“I am calling on Secretary Acosta to resign. It is now impossible for anyone to have confidence in Secretary Acosta’s ability to lead the Department of Labor,” he said in a statement. “If he refuses to resign, President Trump should fire him. Instead of prosecuting a predator and serial sex trafficker of children, Acosta chose to let him off easy. This is not acceptable. We cannot have, as one of the leading appointed officials in America, someone who has done this. Plain and simple.”

Kamala Harris