Acosta Defends His Role in Brokering Jeffrey Epstein Plea Deal

R. Alexander Acosta, the labor secretary, rebuffed calls for his resignation by Democrats, who criticized his decision as a prosecutor in 2008 to accept a lenient sentence for Mr. Epstein.

Comments: 206

  1. My head is spinning. They got the best deal they could? Epstein was allowed to serve in a local jail and was able to leave twelve hours a day, six days a week. We still do not have a lot of this full story and I hope it comes out. Mr. Acosta comes across as smug and acts like 2008 was so long ago that this was the only outcome that could be. Ridiculous.

  2. @Suzanne Victor: Best deal they could...for Epstein.

  3. @Suzanne Victor Just as mysterious is the SDNY prosecutor who argued for having Epstein's sex offender status downgraded, supposedly behind her boss Vance's back. What, did she just wake up one morning and decide to go to bat for Epstein out of sympathy for his plight? If we actually had effective white collar crime prosecution in this country, we'd discover just how much outright bribery was occurring. I used to think that many politicians and civil servants were willing to turn a blind eye because it served their ideology, particularly in the GOP, but now that the Trump presidency has exposed there really is no underlying ideology at work, the only remaining explanation is envelopes stuffed with cash.

  4. @stan continople That’s not the U.S. SDNY you are referring to. It’s the Manhattan District Attorney’s office.

  5. If he wanted to help the victims, why did keep the plea deal a secret from them. Acosta was not chosen by Trump because he was upfront and honest, let's be clear about that.

  6. @Lex Makes you wonder why Trump was rewarding Acosta with a cabinet position.

  7. I strongly suspect that the merest, hint of a person's possessing these qualities, ('being upfront / honest'), is an automatic failed job interview in 'Trump_World'!!!

  8. Yet another administration official facing the steep descent in flames. Richly deserved, and a long time coming.

  9. Trump is running a political septic system.

  10. @Brian Flynn Yes. And their 'think tanks' are really 'septic tanks'.

  11. @Steve W @Steve W I sincerely hope for a steep descent in flames. But will he?

  12. On Jan. 2, 2018, Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta released a statement commemorating the beginning of Human Trafficking Awareness Month, recommitting his department’s mission to “ending practices that harm individuals, families, and communities.” “We must act to end exploitation and abusive labor practices at home and abroad,” the statement said. Absent from that statement was the fact he had already tried to cut a program by nearly 80 percent inside the Department of Labor dedicated to combating human trafficking, along with child and forced labor, internationally. And two months later, he would return to Congress to advocate for a second budget to cut the program just as deeply.

  13. @David Henry Well spotted, David Henry. With all of the atrocious goings-on, this must have been done under the radar. Geeze, is there even one of Trump's cabinet secretaries who is NOT working to undermine the goal of his/her own department?

  14. @Expat Annie No. Stay where you are, lucky lady.

  15. Mr. Acosta said he faced a tough choice between accepting a plea deal that was not as tough as he wished it would be and going to trial with witnesses who were scared to testify" Didn't this plea deal happen without the victims' knowledge? So to pretend he was protecting these girls rings hollow. Especially as his actions enabled abuse to continue. And how on earth were co-conspirators let off, too?

  16. @Anne Amen. This deal was not only wrong but illegal. Acosta and others involved need to account for their illegal activities. Also. a close look at their individual net worth pre and post deal woudl shed light on motives.

  17. Re: '...And how on earth were co-conspirators let off, too?" {@Anne} 'Trump - Acosta' reminds me of Joe Ratzinger, (aka: 'Benedict-16'), and the late Cardinal Law! These two failed politicians ALSO remind me of... Bishop Robert J. Finn, and Fr. Shaun, '50-to-life', Ratigan, (video-child-pornster-priest), who earned EVERY second of his 50 yr.+ sentence / who's bishop, (also!), remains a bishop!

  18. @R.G. Frano Exactly. Apparently at this presser ( which I missed) Acosta gave no explanations AT ALL why the deal granted complete, blanket immunity to any and all co-conspirators of Epstein ..past, present or future...that part of the deal is both unheard of and completely unacceptable. A federal judge has already ruled this whole Acosta plea deal illegal...Acosta failed to notify more than 30 additional victims, and the immunity clause in the deal is utter nonsense..

  19. Epstein is a creep and a criminal. There is no evidence that Mr. Acosta was doing anything other than his job. Good for you Mr. Acosta in standing up to the pitchfork-carrying mob calling for your head. Now, when the Epstein matter quiet down, you can really shore up your reputation by resigning as Labor Secretary, not because of the Epstein matte,r but because you realized you in good conscience cannot continue to serve in a Trump administration under any circumstances.

  20. I want to scream. Acosta was protecting some, but not the children. I sincerely doubt that a blue collar trafficking boss with a public defender would have received Epstein's deal. Acosta is a weak, equivocating disgrace to the DOJ. My child is an Asst. US Atty. My child would have marched into hell to have nailed Epstein, and to have protected the children. ACOSTA NEEDS TO RESIGN NOW! HE IS A DISGRACE!

  21. @Mary - We should review all of his cases and see if he was consistent regarding sex-offenders or not.

  22. I hope that this Alex Acosta's name become synonymous with J. Epstein. His job was to prosecute sex crimes of minor. It is apparent that most of Trump's cabinet member, Acosta has no shame.

  23. He has no shame. No remorse for the young children that became victims because of his decision to let a predator roam the streets again. May his name go down in infamy.

  24. Acosta needs to step down and be disbarred!!! We then need to go over every case he was involved with to see who he cut loose and who he railroaded!! This is about children, I am sick to my stomach! Resign!!!

  25. The Acosta Albatross. If Trump doesn't force him out, he'll be giving the Dems a great gift in any upcoming debates. I love it.

  26. @Elizabeth Thomas: I don't love anything about this nightmare. Well....maybe it will bring Trump's resignation. That I would love. Then we'd have to deal with holier-than-thou hypocrite Pence. The nightmare will never end. We're all trapped in it, clawing our way out but out never comes.

  27. @Elizabeth Thomas If it's what you say it is, I love it! Especially later in the summer.

  28. “My experience with Donald Trump is if he sees somebody is a bad apple,” Mr. Ruddy said, “he will stay as far away from that person is possible.” Ha ha! Name one "good apple" in this administration? I thought being a bad apple was a prerequisite. One advantage of having a barrel full of bad apples is you know that none of them will unexpectedly go bad.

  29. @stan continople Water seeks its own level

  30. @stan continople U.S. Trade Rep Lightizer. Successfully overseeing Trade negotiations with China, which by the way is far worse of an adversary than Russia.

  31. Acosta’s excuses ring false. Why was the deal kept secret from the victims, which he as US Attorney knew was illegal? Why did he permit Epstein to plead to lesser state charges of soliciting prostitutes, when the young girls were the victims and should not have been labeled as prostitutes? These young girls were victimized first by Epstein, but then victimized again by Acosta who gave a sweetheart deal to a wealthy and powerful predator at the expense of young, powerless victims whom he labeled as “prostitutes.”

  32. @J. Thanks. That's the nub. Illegal deal, and those who benefitted? Time for Epstein to blab. We want their names published in the nytimes.

  33. Epstein is a creep and a criminal. But there is no evidence that Mr. Acosta was doing anything other than his job. Good for you Mr. Acosta in standing up to the pitchfork-carrying mob calling for your head. Now, when the Epstein matter quiets down, you can really shore up your reputation by resigning as Labor Secretary - not because of the Epstein matter, but because you realized that you in good conscience cannot continue to serve in a Trump administration under any circumstances.

  34. @Jay Orchard - He didn't do his job, not properly. He made it possible for Epstein to continue abusing other children.

  35. Wrong. My child, an Asst. US Atty, was prosecuting trafficking in CA within the same time period. My child had to interview the child victims. No one shamed these children. The traffickers went to prison!

  36. @Jay Orchard When you don't follow the law - i.e. notifying the victims of the plea deal - you are not doing your job. There is a reason the Public Integrity Unit is involved in this case. And further, hasn't history shown us the horrific results of the "just doing my job" POV.

  37. Re Photo_Caption: "R. Alexander Acosta, the labor secretary, served as United States attorney for the Southern District of Florida and oversaw a plea deal for Jeffrey E. Epstein..." I'm watching this news conference / listening, as this soon to be former 'labor sec.' lies... My ONLY response is: why is this fool STILL a Trump Cabinet - person?

  38. As I write, Acosta is still speaking. He has called for victims of sexual abuse and rape to ceome forward. He's called for that about 4 times now. And I seem to recall that there were 4 women who came forward on Bret Kavanaugh. The FBI said they couldn't be bothered to interview them. Then there are the 15 women who have leveled charges against the President of the United States. No action on that yet, is there? Then there are the charges made public yesterday about a 15-year-old who was sexually abused at the border. The Border Agents have sat on that for a month. Acosta is saying what a good deal he cut down in Florida - good for whom, Alex? Not for the young girls back then that you deliberately, illegally forced out of the loop. Enough. This man is playing more games. This blot needs to go. IMPEACH TRUMP and get rid of such base swine.

  39. @rosa Yep, you picked the best descriptive word...........swine. All of them, SWINE! And that photo of swine #3 in front of three American flags - get me a bucket!

  40. @Zoey Jackson Okay! Hang on! I'm running as fast as I can---!!

  41. The "golden rule". Them that's got the gold...rules. Same as it ever was. The "love" triangle, Acosta--Trump--Epstein.

  42. “My experience with Donald Trump is if he sees somebody is a bad apple,” Mr. Ruddy said, “he will stay as far away from that person is possible.” This "apple" is rotten to the core. Mr. Acosta should never have been confirmed as Labor Secretary in the first place, because the deal he brokered with Epstein was not an unknown factor in confirming him. Mr. Acosta broke the law when he did not inform the victims of his decision to give Epstein a light slap on the wrist. It doesn't take a genius to figure out what went down with this unconscionable deal. Had Epstein been an ordinary citizen, he would have been prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Acosta didn't have enough concrete evidence for a conviction? Then he didn't look very hard did he? He needs to be fired, and not given the privilege of resigning. However, I am wondering now how all of this is going to shake out with Barr un-recusing himself from the Epstein case.

  43. Follow the money.

  44. A 13 month sentence is not exactly a 13 month sentence when Epstein was free to leave prison 6 days a week to work. Don't know if he had to return to jail each night. But regardless, not only was the 13 month sentence light, the ability to leave prison 6 days a week smacks of either a super weak case for the prosecution or a super sweetheart deal for a connected plutocrat.

  45. @Jim R. - He also had his own private wing at the county jail when he returned.

  46. @tom Harrison And his own privately hired security to watch over him.

  47. Acosta is another "only the best" Trump appointee. Per the DOL, "The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has an important role to play in combating trafficking in persons through our civil enforcement of federal labor laws, our research and funding for grants overseas, and our employment and training expertise. Through the Wage and Hour Division’s civil enforcement, in particular, DOL partners with federal law enforcement agencies around the identification and referral of potential instances of trafficking in persons and the calculation of restitution amounts for victims. The Wage and Hour Division also strategically approaches enforcement efforts by focusing on industries where labor law violation rates are high and vulnerable low-wage workers are often reluctant to assert their rights and raise their voices." Impossible to believe Acosta is suited to head the Department of Labor. Enforcement seems to be his weak suit.

  48. @me Tell that to the 60 Senators who questioned him, considered all his relevant baggage, and still confirmed him. And since I gather you disdain Trump, there were Ds in that 60 Yes votes.

  49. So far I have seen little information indicating whether or not Mr. Acosta might be correct that trying for too much could have resulted in nothing. Epstein was mega-rich, which means he could have hired the best attorneys on the planet. That had to factor in as well. We need to entire story. And we don't have it yet. I am withholding judgment until I see all of the facts, and until I see compelling arguments from people who don't have a pro- or anti-Trump axe to grind.

  50. @Travelers The investigative reporting by Miami Herald says Acosta did not notify the victims as the law required, he lied to them, he met secretly with Epstein's lawyers, etc. All of that makes his current story 'suspect'. In my opinion his story would have sounded much more plausible if he hadn't done all of the above. In fact, the victims would have clearly stated he told them there wasn't enough evidence to try the case. Finally, how does one explain away - Acosta also granted immunity to Epstein's co-conspirators, both named and unnamed?

  51. @Travelers The "best attorneys" are not corrupt. He found attorneys who could be bought.

  52. @Travelers I don't have a pro-or-anti trump ax to grind but I do believe in scrutiny. I do not believe that we will get all the answers. Mr. Acosta doesn't explain why this was the best deal he could hope for. Of course, there is a danger of trying for a conviction and losing. He seems to be saying that the US Attorneys office was overwhelmed by Epstein's legal team. That in itself is surprising. I also wonder why the jail term was so lenient-while incarcerated, Epstein lived in the private wing of a county jail and was able to leave confinement for 12 hours a day to go to his office, a situation that raised eyebrows for legal analysts. Also, why did Acosta give immunity to co-conspirators? That's highly unusual.

  53. Seconding the comments about the secrecy of the plea deal. Maybe Acosta took no questions after this announcement -- but has no reporter asked him why he failed -- illegally -- to inform the victims?

  54. @Steve Marshall In the press conference he said that had they notified the victims, and the deal fell through (or Epstein failed to live up to it) it would taint their value as witnesses since the fallen-through deal included cash reparations. So the girls couldn't be told to preserve some future case. Also, over a weekend, he said a lawyer from his staff did try to notify the girls but the deal had to be signed on Monday morning (no idea why) and it was only agreed to on Friday afternoon. He also said that procedures at the time didn't require them to notify (hey, it's what he said - don't ask me to explain it). But this administration lies for a living, so I assume it's all a lie.

  55. I look forward to the fact-checking of his statements and his responses to questions. Where was the apology to the victims? Where was there anything but deflection? Why would sitting with the victims now in any way prejudice the SDNY case? Where is the acceptance that he bungled, that he could have searched for more victims, that they could have put together a stronger case against a child rapist? 2007 was not that long ago. Child molestation was not acceptable. He owns nothing of this. Deplorable.

  56. Acosta was presented with the photos of the children. These photos came with a mandatory 15 year sentence. Acosta knew of these vile photos prior to the so called deal. This stinks to high heaven.

  57. @If it feels wrong, it probably is I look forward to all the facts being presented, before we jump to conclusions. Then once we have a full picture, we can judge him accordingly. Until then, I suspect the knee-jerk reactions will continue. (And yes child molestation is reprehensible).

  58. By 2007, in fact, America already knew about, and had had lots of time to absorb, the extent of sexual abuse of minors by Catholic priests and the efforts of the hierarchy to cover it up. Did Acosta not know about any of this?

  59. Mr. Acosta, You needed to do better. You didn't try hard enough or believe enough in these women. You worked with Epstein's lawyers to work out the plea deal and failed to inform the victims. In doing so, you became part and parcel of the sickening cover up of Epstein's crimes. There is no other way to say it.

  60. @M Bernier He's a Trumpian, so nothing was his fault, only that of his staff. Everything was done by his staff while he was, what?, in a coma? He was practically Sgt Schultz, except when it came time for some other lawyer to tell him what a great job they had all done.

  61. The president said of Jeffrey Epstein that he’s “not a fan.” But he can still defend his Labor Secretary who brokered the look-the-other-way “get out of jail free” card for a man he once described as “a great guy?” Yet the president can lie a thousand ways to Sunday about President Obama but can see no evil in Acosta’s past? It’s all transactional and selective with this man, isn’t it? And, what exactly, and why, did MAGA nation have to complain about President Obama? Morals? Policy? Decency? Am I missing something?

  62. @Red Sox, ‘04, ‘07, ‘13, ‘18 Obama was black -- that's unacceptable to the MAGA nation. They want to make America white again, and Obama refused to be white. Actually he was black AND smart, something MAGA nation can not abide.

  63. @Red Sox, ‘04, ‘07, ‘13, ‘18 My dear, you are NOT missing a thing. It's those who blindly subscribe to the MAGA mantra and Trump's base that are missing things like compassion, tolerance, decency, kindness, forgiveness, concern and caring for each other - just for starters.

  64. Mr. Acosta works for the Trump administration.....the administration of 10,000 lies, cover-ups, collusion, and delusion. In a normal administration, I might be willing to listen to his statements, but frankly....he currently represents Trump, and there's no credibility in that.

  65. @BW Can you imagine what the GOP/Fox news response would be if this was one of Obama’s cabinet? Of course, Obama would never in a million years had anyone so corrupt in his administration. Trump’s entire administration is comprised of amoral, corrupt and inept misfits.

  66. “My experience with Donald Trump is if he sees somebody is a bad apple,” Mr. Ruddy said, “he will stay as far away from that person is possible.” Give me a break. Trump IS a bad apple.

  67. @Panthiest He only knows bad apples as those who won't serve his purpose. It's not about recognizing poor quality.

  68. @Panthiest . Water seeks its own level.

  69. @Panthiest He meant another bad apple that could bring him down, then he'll throw them under the bus and distance himself, blame others (especially immigrants), say Bill Clinton did worse, and then come up with another criminal activity as a distraction.

  70. While I wish he would hang around as a reminder of the president's uncanny ability to pick only the best people, Acosta is done. The story won't go away and then there's that photo with Epstein and Trump. Acosta's argument is somewhat technical and nuanced and that won't work with the base.

  71. if Mr. Acosta's idea of justice having been served in the sentencing of Mr. Epstein is truly justice then our prisons would be empty.

  72. Re: '...then our prisons would be empty..." {@Jo Trafford} I can't help but think, 'Déjà vu'' if I'm watching reporting about the, (ongoing / unresolved) Vatican Protected_Pedo scandal!

  73. Maybe if he surrounded himself with a few more flags . . .

  74. If Mr. Epstein had been black or a low income person, there’s no doubt they would’ve thrown the person in jail and thrown away the key.

  75. @VA A) Why would his skin color matter? The point of this is $$ and the connections it buys. B) If he were such a low income person, the chances that he could have feasibly operated this international sex trafficking ring is about 0.00000000001

  76. Another Trump appointee pretending he's never seen the following pleading: or any of the newspaper articles written about the above case against Trump and Epstein. She filed her pleading as "Jane Doe" alleging that Trump and Epstein raped her when she was 13 years old. Once Trump became the GOP nominee, although she filed as "Jane Doe" to retain anonymity, she received numerous death threats. Pretending that she doesn't exist and that her claim has no legitimacy is insulting to ALL WOMEN AND ALL GIRLS.

  77. What about Robert Kraft prostitution charges, Same thing hired the best legal team to bully the local prosecutor . Kraft got caught red handed on video and he claims his privacy was invaded.

  78. @Independent voter Clearly you do not understand how our Criminal justice system, as enshrined in the Const et al, operates. There is a process, and it must be followed, no matter how repugnant the person in. Part of that process is to 1) not violate an accused privacy's rights until he has had his day in court, and 2) to not prejudice the public (i.e., the potential jury) before they even hear the arguments. As a further point, if you consider Kraft getting a handjob from a consenting adult where $$ was exchanged, the same as Epstein operating an international sex trafficking ring with the average age ~13/14, you need to seek some help.

  79. How does anyone defend presiding over a secret, sweetheart sentence for a serial sex offender and human trafficker?

  80. Facing a 53-page federal indictment, Epstein could have ended up in federal prison for the rest of his life, but Acosta was more than happy to process a secret plea deal that would conceal the full extent of Epstein’s crimes and the number of people involved. Acosta allowed Epstein’s lawyers unusual freedoms in dictating the terms of the non-prosecution agreement. As part of the Epstein plea deal arrangement, Acosta agreed, despite a federal law to the contrary, that the deal would be kept from the victims. As a result, the non-prosecution 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. “I don’t think anyone has been told the truth about what Jeffrey Epstein did,’’ said one of Epstein’s victims, Michelle Licata, now 30. “He ruined my life and a lot of girls’ lives. People need to know what he did and why he wasn’t prosecuted so it never happens again.” “This was not a ‘he said, she said’ situation. This was 50-something ‘shes’ and one ‘he’ — and the ‘shes’ all basically told the same story,’’ said retired Palm Beach Police Chief Michael Reiter, who supervised the police probe. The Secretary of Trump Labor needs to resign, be disbarred and face charges for breaking federal law.

  81. @Socrates Charges? Charges by who or for what ? You mean the charge that Barr will pay for dinner at the Trump Hotel for dinner with Acosta? This is the age of TRUMP.

  82. @Socrates Yes. But not just one "he" not only Epstein you can bet on that. Epstein is a...a... no word can describe such a person. I hope he will, if given enough incentive, sing like a Canary. I hope the really big fish are caught.

  83. Two things: After Epstein got out of prison, is there any proof that he continued sexually abusing children? The fact that Trump HIRED Acosta after this horrific miscarriage of justice says it all. Trump doesn't care who he puts in his administration.

  84. @Barb the Lib I see it differently. Trump cares very much whom he hires. They have to be corrupt, fawning, and have no self respect, just at Trump has no self respect. (BTW, that's why he's so angry all the time.)

  85. Good thing, Acosta didn't fly first class or sleep in a below-market-rate AirBnB, he would have been fired for those things.

  86. So glad Trump has surrounded himself with the "best." And look how well he has "drained the swamp." What I don't understand is why aren't any Republicans speaking out? Their lack of moral courage may be the lasting legacy of the Trump presidency. Epstein is a disgusting man. But some might say he is sick. Whereas why did Acosta look the other way? In a sense it's the same with the Republicans in Congress. I think Trump actually believes the lies he tells. But why do the Republicans sell out and support everything thing he does? If they can't find the moral courage to call out Acosta, I'm not sure they have any courage left. Yes, this may well be the legacy of Donald Trump. How otherwise decent public servants couldn't find the strength to stand up for what's right.

  87. How can Trump (or anyone else) defend the outrageous and needless miscarriage of justice that is the non-prosecution deal that Mr. Acosta gave to Epstein? How? How can anyone support a man who does so? They have no shame. They have no decency. They have no morals. They have no ethics. They do have twisted, corrupt, debased values. They are todays conservatives, Republicans and especially the conservative evangelicals. They do not, despite their arrogant claims, hold any moral, ethical or values high ground. Rather they inhabit a moral and ethical cesspool. It's about time the media started acknowledging this reality.

  88. The new Perp walk. It's not yet 4 pm and Acosta is before a group of well informed media personnel. They are questioning him with little mercy. Unlike his boss he has no escape. At the podium; no axle grease; no trapdoor. This is much better than watching him walk from his office building, uniformed escorts and carrying a cardboard box holding all of his office content. I really hope that Acosta, Epstein and their famous buddies either get to be cross examined by Congress or have their names featured in Congressional reports. I would love both. It would be useful if Acosta could inform us about the substance which allowed him to be free of sweat while seeming to assist in turning brutal pedophilia into prostitution. Sleep well Acosta ol' buddy. Whatever the lubricant of human relationships used by Epstein, it worked...short term. Let's see what our lawmakers do.

  89. Always and only the "audience of one." "Mr. Acosta’s appearance before cameras was seen as a crucial test of whether he will keep his job, with an audience of one as President Trump watched and came to a decision. Mr. Acosta said he has spoken with Mr. Trump and believes he has his backing. “ 'My relationship with the president is outstanding,” he said. “He has very publicly made clear that I’ve got his support. ' ” The sycophants who cycle through this Administration care about nothing and no one -- only about saving their own skin. Only about toadying up to the abuser-in-chief, their "audience of one." The callous cruelty of these men reinforces every day that Washington DC has been overrun with sociopaths lacking in empathy and any normal human feeling. Meanwhile, when someone, somewhere actually states "the emperor has no clothes" -- the British ambassador to the U.S. -- he's the man who loses his job. Because Trump won't work with anyone who speaks the truth.

  90. Not a lot of wriggle room here. All this ,this will make it go away business is becoming very old and abrasive.Guy is basically walking toast and everybody on the plane ride is running for cover.

  91. "only the best people..." Honestly, this country would be served better by scooping up a bunch of teens from the mall and assigning them cabinet posts randomly with a spinning wheel.

  92. @G Just tell them, "Be best!"

  93. Earth to Elijah Cummings. You'll have your show hearing if you bring Labor Secretary Acosta before your committee to testify about the Epstein Florida non-prosecution agreement. Meanwhile, Epstein's attorneys in the now ongoing New York Southern District case will be salivating at the prospect of stuff that will come out at the hearing that will be useful to them in their current defense of Epstein. I speak as a former prosecutor and criminal defense attorney.

  94. At the press conference, more than once, Mr. Acosta was asked if he would apologize to the victims. Not once did he apologize!

  95. I watched the entire news conference. Acosta answered all of their questions and it was clear that most of the reporters had not read the material they were provided. So where are the questions for the Florida officials that allowed the bogus "work release" for Epstein. Bill Clinton flew on Epstein's plane 26+ times and Epstein is, and was, a major fund raiser for the Democrats. Clinton even had Epstein at the White House for dinner. The Dems own this guy and they are trying to put it on President Trump.

  96. This is not political...this is about young girls being violated by a grown man who escaped rightful prosecution a decade ago. Pedafilia transcends any political alliance as warped criminal behaviour.

  97. It is too late for him to feign concern for the victims. When he was questioned at his confirmation hearing, he was snide and snarky, revealing his true attitude. He just cares about his job. If he ever cared about those girls, he would have answered the questions differently. And, if any of these prosecutors cared about the girls, why violate the law by failing to disclose the plea agreement to them? That fact alone should ban Acosta from a public service job.

  98. Kirkland and Ellis is a law firm that Acosta worked for and who represented Jeffrey Epstein. I think that relationship was a little to cozy.

  99. Question for Trump: regarding your comment that Epstein preferred younger women, Tell us some more about that.

  100. What excuse does he have for not notifying the victims? What documentation does he have that they were not willing to testify? Would Acosta volunteered his explanation before the Miam newspaper's investigation?

  101. I'd buy into this - except that Acosta violated rules and negotiated this with no contact with the victims that he claimed to be concerned with. If this was negotiated out of fear that some victims wouldn't testify, that some would drop out - he would have been in contact. He wasn't.

  102. I'm curious. You always hear about those lawyers that keep their win ratio up by not prosecuting difficult cases. Was Acosta that kind of lawyer? Was he part of some cover-up? Or does he legitimately think he made the right call?

  103. Acosta is trying to defend himself in the press. My past reading indicates that Acosta knew the prosecutor in the original case because the lawyer had worked for him. I am also sure as was stated by another respondent that there was a lot of money involved...meaning palms were greased in the prosecutors office, the jail and the police department. Hate to be pessimistic, but I also believe Epstein probably uses "dirt" in the form of pictures, conversations and information to cover his trail; that he studies people, especially their weaknesses just like he does the market. The market forecast is down for him right now, but he'll probably call in some markers. He seems to have a number of people rushing to distance themselves from him. I expect Alan D will be next.

  104. So Mr. Acosta openly admits that he was not effective in reducing the fear and anxiety of witnesses and alleged victims. I doubt that he tried very hard. The fact that "Mr. Acosta, who served as United States attorney for the southern district of Florida, remained defiant amid criticism" is not a novel posture in the trump administration. They will lie, cheat, defy the law and deflect in the style of their their Commander In Chief. It makes one want to go to the West Wing with a dumpster and clean the place out, sanitize, remodel and bring in the next crew.

  105. I'd like to see the Times or Miami Herald do some comparative research. For instance, review the sexual abuse and statutory rape convictions in Florida under both state and federal jurisdiction during the time Jeffrey Epstein was having at it, and hammering out his plea agreement. I'll bet there were some stiff sentences meted out, particularly for men who were poor or African American.

  106. "witnesses who were scared to testify" THAT'S the problem. This is how powerful and wealthy people, predominantly men, get away with what they do. People like Trump and Epstein use all their might to strike fear in those they use, using lawyers and tactics to insure that people are scared to testify whether they are contractors or sexual prey. He says he wanted to help them. If Acosta truly wanted to help he would have worked to eliminate their fear. Instead their fear is the tool Epstein, and others, use to get away with what they do or suffer little for it. And look at what kind of support they get from the president to alleviate their fears. None. Who does he feel badly for, them? No, "I feel very badly, actually for Secretary Acosta..." And people keep asking why victims don't come forward. “He has very publicly made clear that I’ve got his support.” It's clear that biggest problem here, as always, is that "reputation and image" of the men is paramount.

  107. Why weren't the victims notified of the plea deal until after it was approved?

  108. The plea deal being the best they could get is arguably a judgment call. Failure to inform witnesses of the deal is not a judgment call. It's a clear violation of Justice Dept. policy, and it demands an explanation.

  109. Missing from his apology is an explanation as to why he terminated the on-going FBI investigation which, at the time of the deal, was discovering iinterstate and nternational trafficking of girls to service Mr. E. Hence, Acosta granted the defence the power to shut out not only the then known victims, but the strong likelihood that clear cut federal felony charges could have been filed, that it wasn't merely a FL jurisdictional issue. What Accosta got in return? Favored treatment in the future? Such as appoint to an appeals court? A job at Kirkland Ellis? Job offer from Epstein?

  110. @Michael Charney I am on the same train of thought. There needs to be an investigation to determine exactly what Acosta received from Epstein in exchange for this fiasco of so called justice. It stretches credulity to believe Acosta did this enormous favor for a sleazy billionaire without expecting something in return. Deposit in a Cayman account perhaps?

  111. Acosta stated one of his attorneys tried all weekend to contact the victims before the plea was finalized. Really? She didn't find even one? Out of 50? Acosta also stated that the plaintiffs were unreliable and wouldn't have made good witnesses. Really? All 50 of them? NONE of them would have been plausible on the stand? Right.

  112. @Gabrielle Rose if I recall the victims were told that they'd be dragged through the mud, their Myspace pages shown, revealing that they were not little angels as they appeared to be. That said, it still does not make raping a child right. It just shows that there were some problems with the prosecution's case.

  113. Notice how Acosta stated his office stayed true to terms of proposed agreement during negotiations with Epstein's lawyer - but he never did disclose how, whom, nor whom in consultation with - those very lenient terms were originally formulated. So, back to square 1.

  114. If Acosta is indeed speaking to an " audience of one," then he should meet with the One behind closed doors and the palace gate. Perhaps this now too is an absurdly quaint notion, but in theory at least, WE are the audience that matters.

  115. Whatever your motivations might be on passing or holding judgement on Mr. Acosta, there's one glaring fact that you can't avoid: the victims who had pending accusations against Epstein were not made aware of a deal and did not have a chance to have their voices heard. It was determined that this was done in violation of plea deals. How is this right?

  116. @Aspen The idea that any DA seriously takes a victim's wishes into account when negotiating a plea deal is naive. DAs first do what's best for them, i.e. what makes them look good to get a promotion as fast as possible. That starts from the charges phase down to sentencing. If victim impact statements align with that objective, it's purely coincidental. It's not by design. Do you think the vulnerable people who were harmed by the bogus blood tests of Elizabeth Holmes and the pharmacy chains who purchased her equipment are going to be heard in her fraud trial? Please. The only people that matter are big time investors who were scammed.

  117. If Acosta truly thought there were difficulties with the case and that the plea deal was the best outcome, you would think he would have had no hesitation to meet with the victims and their attorneys and families to explain himself and get their input. Yet, he kept it secret and did not give them any notice of the deal they negotiated before they implemented it. This one fact speaks volumes about his lack of truthfulness and sincerity. What does he say about this? I see nothing regarding it in the article.

  118. “My experience with Donald Trump is if he sees somebody is a bad apple,” Mr. Ruddy said, “he will stay as far away from that person is possible.” How does he stay away from himself? That's the thing. The bad apple always things the good apples are the bad ones.

  119. Mr. Acosta, Actions speak louder than words. You were obviously intimidated by the dream defense team of Dershowitz and Starr. They went after the children to defend Epstein. To withhold the settlement from the children was unconscionable and for you to defend that decision is even more egregious. You should not only be fired, but disbarred.

  120. "Mr. Acosta said he faced a tough choice between accepting a plea deal that was not as tough as he wished it would be and going to trial with witnesses who were scared to testify in what he described as “a roll of the dice” that might not result in a conviction and prison term." Oh that's rich - placing the burden on the victims. Please, give me a break. If Acosta truly believes the "prison" term that Epstein received, i.e., being able to leave lock up and work 12 hours a day, 6 days a week, for 13 months was anything other than what it was, the sweetheart deal of the decade, then he is either delusional or continues to cover for Epstein as well as himself. Acosta's words imply one thing. His actions confirm something entirely different. He should be ashamed of himself for this continual farce, insult to justice, and betrayal of those young girls.

  121. These people have found that The can be immoral, unethical, swamp dwellers and no one will do anything about it. That’s what happens when there are no consequences.

  122. Acosta is following Trump's "Never apologize" model. The real question is why Acosta made such an atrocious plea deal and on whose behalf (besides pervert Epstein's) he did so. My suspicion is that Trump was at the very least involved in the cover-up of his friend Epstein's misdeeds and most likely because Trump himself had no clean hands. But it will not matter at all to Trump's faithful--already they are excusing the so-called charity event for children Trump is organizing during which professional strippers will be auctioned off to serve as caddies and escorts. Its utterly degrading to women. but the GOP faithful don't care about that: already my Republican brother is saying, "Clinton did worse." Give the Nation a break!

  123. This excuse from Acosta doesn't explain why he broke the law, to hide the plea deal from the victims. Can Acosta provide a plausible explanation for how his lawbreaking worked to the benefit of Epstein's rape victims? They don't seem to be pleased now they have learned of it. I think Acosta is lying.

  124. The thing is that Epstein didn't go to jail -- he was allowed to go to work for 6 out of 7 days -- how is this jail?

  125. Costa couldn’t defend the deal he made with Epstein’s lawyers. He didn’t apologize to the victims either

  126. If you want the whole story Google, Miami Hearld, reporter Julie K. Brown, "How a future Trump Cabinet member gave a serial sex abuser the deal of a lifetime". When I read it last year I was struck at the outrage of the Miami cops who handed over a case of almost 80 young girls and then had to sit back and see nothing happen. This whole matter has been outrageous. I'm so sorry, girls (now women) for what happened to you. My very best and thank you for doing your best to get this predator off the streets. This isn't over.

  127. A very mild mannered but very Trumpian response by Acosta. It was the state prosecutors fault! And I came in and saved the day!! Still little if any concern for the victims, then and now.

  128. There’s nothing or no one associated with Trump whom I approve of BUT to go back and second judge a plea deal THAT WOULD HAVE REQUIRED COURT APPROVAL seems inappropriate to me. Democrats should focus on the myriad current issues that should be able to sink any honest arbiter and not go fishing in a dirty old fish tank for issues to latch on. Horrid as the charges are against Epstein, he’s not yet been convicted nor does he rate among the most pressing issues facing me and this country today.

  129. This sounds rotten from the get go. I'm assuming that during his 12 hr. 'workdays" spent outside the prison gates he could have girls come by at anytime for a "message". This doesn't sound like any prison sentence I've ever heard of. Sounds more like one of the Masters of the Universe being forced to observe the Lord's day. What century am I living in?

  130. "He needed to got to jail." But he didn't really go to jail. He had 12 hrs out, 6 days a week, to go to his "office." Then he had release and house arrest which during which he appears to have jetted all over the place. Seriously? Acosta's defense doesn't come close to passing the smell test.

  131. @BC One an only wonder about the seriousness of putting this man away, in Acosta's view, when they then allowed a billionaire to "go to the office" twelve hours away, six dos a week, as though he needed to make living. In effect, Acosta cut the sentence almost in half by allowing the office time. And he said he wanted to see him locked up and put away? Hah!!!

  132. When are they going to indict the coconspirators? The drivers and pilots that transported these girls, yes they were children, across not only state lines but internationally?

  133. Acosta and all in the Trump administration are complicit in the pain of children. In Acosta's case, he chose the rich, or he caved to pressure -- however you want to see it, he ignored exploited teenage girls who but for the grace of god could be your daughter, or be you, when you were young, if you hadn't had a lucky life. Acosta turned his back on these teenage girls as so many other adults seemed to have, and he let a despicable human being abuse 100s more. These are the facts we know. What facts don't we know? From beauty pageant contestants, to millions who rely on the ACA for their health insurance, to desperate, suffering migrant children, these men care nothing for the violation of children or the suffering and death of people who are poor. Acosta should resign, but losing his job would never make up for the damage he caused by allowing this man to abuse again. Shame on all of you horrible excuses for "leaders." The words "public service" have never crossed these mens lips. Only "self service."

  134. Acosta is a disgrace and a sad, sorry excuse for a human being, just like very other member of this criminal administration. How did we end up here? When are the democrats going to fight back and salvage what remains of our civil rights, the rule of law (for all, not just the few and privileged) and even democracy...when?

  135. This is so typical of Trump. So long as it is someone else's daughters being molested, he's not very upset. What if Ivanka or Tiffany had been one of the victims, and Mr Acosta let Jeffrey E. Epstein off with a slap on the wrist?

  136. Donald and Ivanka are both in Epstein's Little Black Book.

  137. This was a very Trumpian defense - blame someone else and make it look like you swooped in to save the day.

  138. Apology to the victims? Nope. Savior to catching Epstein? Yup. Relationship to Trump? Outstanding! Looking good on TV presser? Nope. Trying to slash human trafficking by 80 percent? You betcha! Hey...except for looking good on TV, Acosta passed all the criteria necessary to be in Trump's cabinet. Never apologize...check. Praise Trump....check. Slash budgets of the most needy....check. Really, I hope Acosta stays there because the longer he does the more that picture of Trump and Epstein will be in the news. They sure looked like buddies.

  139. Apparently, Epstein had connections to someone "above the pay grade" of Acosta, so he was let off easily., as usual, has the intel: "Accordingly to research conducted by The Daily Beast (no connection to Epstein, of course), Acosta was asked: “Is the Epstein case going to cause a problem [for confirmation hearings]?” Acosta explained, breezily, that back in the day he’d had just one meeting on the Epstein case. He’d cut the non-prosecution deal with one of Epstein’s attorneys because he had “been told” to back off, that Epstein was above his pay grade. “I was told Epstein ‘belonged to intelligence’ and to leave it alone,” he told his interviewers in the Trump transition, who evidently thought that was a sufficient answer and went ahead and hired Acosta. (The Labor Department had no comment when asked about this.)... For almost two decades, whether to do with ties to foreign intelligence, his billions of dollars, or his social connections, Epstein, whose alleged sexual sickness and horrific assaults on women without means or ability to protect themselves is well-known in his circle, remained untouchable." But now, with the 2020 election coming up, it's "dig up whatever you can on Trump." And of course, anything related to Epstein stinks, so Trump gets a whiff of his taint by association. Of course, back in 2008 or so, with the news all about Clinton, did he get the "third degree" about his relationship with Epstein? Nope. Talk about untouchable…

  140. Acosta should resign. Then he should be disbarred. Then he should be forced to exit public life in disgrace. Then he should be sued into poverty for what he did.

  141. If I had money in his hedge fund I would be sweating bullets. Reports regarding source of wealth would raise red flags.

  142. Julie Brown should be in every cover of every magazine woman and person of the year.

  143. @Independent voter She should get a Pulitzer this year!

  144. @Pat She will!

  145. @Independent voter And a Pulitzer

  146. Everyone is always defending their roles as moths to a flame. This administration is the perfect measure for the creepy-crawlers. Tip over any old rotten log and the bugs come out. Lindsey Graham will do anything for a military based contract. Anything.

  147. This is what we get when we drain the swamp! Pure garbage. "I wish he would explain how he was trying to help the girls" I still think it's possible Epstein has photos of powerful people and threatened to release them if he didn't get a good deal

  148. Acosta has a good argument, Epstein had the money for the best lawyers in town and could have payed the victims off and not gone to trial. However while in Jail he was allowed to leave the jail six days a week to go to work. Wow!

  149. Is there anyone "normal" working in the Trump administration? There seems to be no end to the extremism practiced by Trump's people.

  150. Donald may have been impressed, but most of the viewing public didn’t fall for Acosta’s pathetic excuses.

  151. Please. How could a federal prosecutor possibly know a serial child molester would continue to offend if given a slap on the wrist. We’re talking about first rate breeding and accomplishments. And did I mention the connections? Nothing but the best people.

  152. Defending the indefensible - that's going to be the title of the book that recaps the Trump years.

  153. Does he mean that the government did not have enough evidence for a conviction, or that the government lawyers were not competent enough to obtain a conviction? He does not come across as a believable person.

  154. @Tom, it means he bought his way out of the sentence he deserved.

  155. So, as one would expect, we have hard evidence that Acosta lies in the same league with Trump. And likely perjured himself at confirmation, like the rest of Cabinet. If he wanted to 'help the victims', why did he break the law and refuse to inform them in advance the deal was imminent? Why did the entire criminal justice system sit back and allow that to happen? And why on Earth did Acosta, the judge, everybody allow the bizarre (and possibly invalid) granting of prophylactic immunity to everybody everywhere who might have had anything to do with the case? That's the opposite of "protection". What kind of protection is that? Do you suppose its possible it has anything to do with this weaselly little man being in a position to help run what's left of the country?

  156. Acosta graduated from Harvard law, he broke the law by not informing the victims of the plea deal. It's past time that these different bar associations start disbarment proceedings to strip these abusers of the law of their licenses. Add Kellyanne Conway and William Barr to the lists and many more!

  157. How the justice system reacts to errant priests and now how it handles the obscenely rich. Obvious to any observer that justice is not being fairly administered to all who come before it. Acosta was so worried about giving Epstein a fair shake... what about the victims? Don't those young women deserve something other than trauma and bad memories?

  158. @wihiker, just heard on TV Some spiraled down and have died in response to this trauma on their souls.

  159. The NYT and other outlets are missing the point of why Acosta agreed to the deal. The answer is in plain text if you read the deal and NPA, and if you read the emails exchanged between defense counsel and prosecution during negotiations. Excerpts have been made public as part of the victims' rights case. The answer, as always, is "follow the money." Federal statutes give victims the right to compensation from the government. Epstein, being a billionaire, traded off his light sentence in exchange for agreeing to pay victim compensation himself in ANY amount the victims wanted. All 40 of them. (Yes, there were 40 named victims in the initial agreement -- pretty crazy. In Florida alone.) And yes, anything victims wanted. Epstein waived his right to contest either "liability or damages." That's huge. Acosta made the call to accept it, and it has nothing to do with the strength of the evidence and everything to do with getting the victims paid. Epstein is a relatively non-violent offender (e.g., some of the girls continued to visit more than 100 times and primarily this was masturbation around 14-year olds, not forcible rape of 5-year-olds.) Epstein would get light jail time and still have to register. Meanwihle 40 girls would be paid more, and more easily, than the government could ever provide. Acosta can't say this out loud because it's admitting you can pay to get out of prosecution. But at the same time, if I were a victim, I'd wish he made the same call for me.

  160. @Ver S I must be missing something. If this is the case, then why were the details of this plea not disclosed to the victims in violation of the law??

  161. I dunno. If I was 14 and was raped, I would rather my rapist stand trial and go to real jail than get the tap on the wrist Epstein got.

  162. Relatively nonviolent offender???! Seriously??? Many of these girls were 14!!

  163. Acosta's defense doesn't hold water. Epstein molested dozens of girls. A single victim out of the dozens could have been the basis of the case against him, and would have resulted in a long prison term, which was still the norm back then. Instead the high number of victims was some kind of reverse twisted logic--so many to protect!

  164. Drain the Trump swamp.

  165. Trump only hires the best enablers. And pals around with only the best pedophiles.

  166. Memo to Alexander Acosta after today’s news conference: Well known cases of famous men charged and found guilty with child pornography, rape of a child or both in chronological order Roman Polanski 1978 Woody Allen 1992 Jerry Lawler 1993 Jerry Lawler 1993 R Kelley 2002 Paul Reubens 2003 Jeffrey Epstein 2008 Resign.

  167. @Andrea Also, Woody Allen was never convicted -- or even arrested -- for child pornography or rape of a child. Rather, during a child custody battle, Allen's former live-in girlfriend, actress Mia Farrow, accused him of molesting their child, and that same child later, as an adult, repeated the same allegation. Although child welfare officials in New York state concluded there was no credible evidence to support the allegation, the issue remains a point of controversy in the minds of commentators and others.

  168. @Andrea In all fairness to actor Paul Reubens, he was never convicted of possessing child pornography or raping a child. The alleged "pornography" found in his possession was more in the realm of vintage erotica; after his arrest, the Los Angeles County District Attorney agreed and it did not bring any felony charges. The L.A. City Attorney then later brought misdemeanor charges, but eventually those were dropped as well, and he ended up pleading guilty to a misdemeanor obscenity charge.

  169. Acosta is a Trump toadie just like Barr. That I can tell you.

  170. What a sorry bunch of puffball questions for Mr Acosta. He went unchallenged and was allowed to repeatedly express his talking points and take no personal responsibility. A bad day for the Washington press.

  171. @Andrew, I agree, The press I think needs to stop being so accommodating and nice. Time to be more forceful. Acosta enjoyed himself - gaslighting, misdirection, smug and smirking.

  172. Were any of these young girls, violated by Jeffery Epstein, Hispanic? Wonder what Acosta would say about that.

  173. Question for Secretary Acosta: if you were the father of a daughter victimized by this creep would you believe that that prosecutor who handle this matter did the best that could be done for your daughter? would you believe justice was served?

  174. This is the guy who went out to cozy breakfast meetings with Epstein's lawyers rather than calling them on the carpet in government offices. Huh? That's the type of thing you do when you're trying to establish a rapport with a business client, while trying to close a deal. What was there to negotiate in this case? This guy is either corrupt or a moron. I do not think it is the latter.

  175. @Rob Kneller I would venture a guess that Acosta was hopefully cozying up to big law firm lawyers, in part, because he was concerned about his post-US Attorney employment; it was 2008, after all, and the likelihood was that he was going to be unemployed soon after January 20, 2009. And, he was doing favors for big money. Because that's what Republicans do.

  176. @Rob Kneller SO TRUE. There is a lot more to surface, if Trump's Attorney General doesn't hide the case. Barr has a lot to explain if he does not recuse himself. Barr's father hired Epstein to teach children. Creepy to say the least.

  177. @S.D. This is bipartisan criminal conduct. It only works when both parties are corrupt. They only reason Acosta is Labour secretary now is because the did. Promoted for being a good team player. I want to hear from Ron Paul, Tulsi Gabbard and Marriane Williamson, Rick Warren and also on the other side Charlie Rose, Weinstein, Bill O'Reily.

  178. "I am withholding judgment until I see all of the facts,... " typical response from the crazy right. Remember when Al Franken resigned over a photo and the same crowd wanted more blood? Spare me your righteousness oh you defenders of America's moral majority. /s

  179. The WORST people. Seriously.

  180. Blah blah blah, cover-up, protect my buddies, cut secret deals, blah blah blah, I didn't call them prostitutes, somebody else called them prostitutes, blah blah blah, state grand jury, i couldn't do anything, i was helpless, it was all the state, i wanted him in jail, blah blah blah, i didn't give him that sweet 'get out of jail six days a week, that was somebody else, blah blah blah. I am astonished. I am livid. I am beyond sad and depressed about this country and it's non-leadership, a country full of rich men protecting each other and cowards who won't ever stand up to bullies. Sick of the lies, sick of the deceit, sick of these men and their sick souls. That includes Trump, Epstein and Clinton, all of them. And now I read that Trump is hosting a strip golf tournament. This country, this country. Crumbling. Evangelicals? Anything? Anything? Hypocrites.

  181. @sophia Couldn't have said it better.

  182. @sophia And where is Mitch McConnell and his "Family Values" Republican congressional representatives? AWOL

  183. @sophia Oh, but Trump is akin to King Cyrus. The evangelicals believe that sending such a depraved soul to bring deserving souls to the promised land is part of "God's plan." It doesn't get much sicker than that, and demonstrates what kind of fanatics the US of A is up against.

  184. If it was the best deal why keep it a secret from the public and the victims!!!! This all unraveled because you violated federal law by not disclosing the plea deal to the victims. May I also say your prosecution team lied to these victims for over a year conveying that they would get justice while you pursued a non prosecution deal with Pedophile Epstein and were working to secure immunity for his accomplices. He raped dozens of under age little girls. Mr Acosta u are a monster sir!

  185. @IntrepidMan Acosta is toast.

  186. So will Alexander Acosta keep his job as Trump's Secretary of Labor or not? So, is his relationship with the president really outstanding? So, did Acosta apologize or express empathy for the teenage victims of the sexual predator whom he gave a sweet plea-deal to in Florida in 2008? Nope. In his Labor Dept. press conference this afternoon, Mr. Acosta made it clear that he and his prosecutors in the Southern District of Florida 11 years ago felt that Mr. Epstein had to go to jail. Times haven't changed all that much from Jeffrey Epstein's vile sexual predations against girls in the early Twenty-Oughts till today. Mr. Acosta's job is in deep jeopardy. He's garnered far too much bad publicity on the web, social media, and all the venues that Donald Trump treasures. So many of Trump's Cabinet secretaries and White House personnel have been dismissed, either by Tweet, pink slip or resigning before being fired. So, it won't come as a surprise if Acosta resigns soon because Trump feels "so badly" for him. We Americans all feel "so badly" about Trump.

  187. Corruption throughout. But this is not surprising. What is surprising is that individual #1 still has the support of his cult. What is it going to take to make them wake up?

  188. @acm They all know about it and they all are implicated in it. This is what makes this blackmail operation work.

  189. @acm Nothing will ever wake them up. Now, it's all about forming a coalition which includes, progressives, moderates, and independents, including Republican moderates and Republican-leaning Independents.

  190. Acosta is despicable and has no honor. Thus he is a perfect choice for Trump’s cabinet of scoundrels. Alas he won’t resign unless Trump as usual bends with the political winds like the spineless blow heart he really is. Of course Trump is at any even lower morality level than Acosta. He went to Epstein’s parties and given his videotaped admissions it doesn’t take much imagination to visualize how well he fit in there.

  191. @IN If Acosta does not resign and Trump does not fire him, it means Acosta has something very damaging he's holding over Trump.

  192. Acosta tried to cut a program by nearly 80 percent inside the Department of Labor dedicated to combating human trafficking, along with child and forced labor, internationally. And two months later, he would return to Congress to advocate for a second budget to cut the program according to an article in the Daily Beast.

  193. At least three times in today's press conference, Secretary Acosta stated that things would be different today. Specifically, he referred to the court not allowing witness / victim shaming. This implies that the legal team employed by Epstein used this tactic to undermine the testimony of the courageous women who were allegedly recruited as young girls by Epstein. Whatever the tactics, they must have worked as Secretary Acosta was quite clear that prosecutors were afraid of losing. It would have been helpful if Secretary Acosta had given a more detailed characterization of the practices of the legal team who defended Epstein. I would like to see Epstein's lawyers take an hour questions from the press. While Secretary Acosta states that things have changed, another member of Epstein's plea deal team, namely Jack Goldberger, is currently leading a very aggressive defense in a prostitution case against another billionaire, Robert Kraft, in Palm Beach. Have things changed?

  194. @Patrick Moynihan And who was Trump's guest at the WH dinner the other evening? Robert Kraft! Sleazy birds of a feather...

  195. I'll wager that Trump forces Acosta out by the end of the week. With Trump, "loyalty" has always been a one-way street.

  196. Acosta keep saying he wanted to see Epstein in jail and that is why he made the deal. Then why would you agree to let Esptein leave the said jail 6 days a week, 12 hours a day? What kind of logic is that? Acosta is as shameless and immoral as the rest of the Trump gang, and we need to keep asking for his resignation. He does work for us after all.

  197. To add to my earlier comment. The very fact of the hearings is problematic. Chairman Cummings is apparently not familiar with the Supreme Court's jurisprudence on the possible adverse effects of pretrial publicity on a defendant's right to a fair trial. Chairman Cummings's aim is to score points against the Trump Administration. Any points scored may in fact end up in the hands of Epstein's very skilled attorneys in the New York case

  198. Asking for someone to resign is not the equivalent of saying they will be charged...learn the difference

  199. The unasked and unanswered question is how did an obscure Florida Attorney General get into the inner circle to be considered for a Cabinet position? Who pulled the strings, and made it happen....follow that trail, and it may lead to some more interesting facts to the Epstein case...

  200. One more thought after my previous comment. Failures to loop in victims have been criticized as part of this agreement. Epstein's plea deal included paying anything victims wanted with no limits. That is the first thing to note that reporters have missed. Naturally, prosecutors had to hide this provision from victims' lawyers because otherwise they'd ask for, say, $1 billion each, and make it impossible for Epstein to agree to it or for justice to be carried out. So it was essential that the deal be kept confidential, so victims could ask to be paid and make fair or even high demands for compensation of their damages, but for there to be some safeguard that their attorneys would act in good faith. Keeping the terms confidential was a way to provide that. Second, there has been some criticism of "protecting co-conspirators". In this case, co-conspirators were people like Nadia, a young Slovakian model who started as an underage victim then helped recruit other girls for Epstein as she grew older and worked as his assistant. Co-conspirators were not people like Bill Clinton. That provision was designed for Epstein to take the fall, and for nobody else to, namely the young women/girls who started as victims and ended up as participants. Acosta made tough calls and meant well, obviously. The problem overall was that Acosta made a deal with the devil. He made a deal for good reasons, to say, hey, here's a billionaire, let's get these girl victims paid. But now it's come out.

  201. @Ver S And leave the perp on the street to commit the same crimes over and over again. The punishment did not fit the crime. A real jail sentence never happened. Epstein remained above the law. Acosta should be disbarred. And prosecuted for not informing the victims of the deal he made with Epstein.

  202. @Ver S Fishy.

  203. However smooth and calm Acosta projects his personna, he as a judge has failed justice through and allowing a pedophile on an industrial scale to roam almost free, setting an awful example of unfairness, and a tacit complicity with a sexual predator when the victims were left out of a sweetheart deal for Jeffrey Epstein. Acosta has no business being in government, a 'skunk playing dead', tone-deaf to the crimes committed by Epstein (and his minions, seemingly oblivious to their collaboration in facilitating the awful deed, violating young girls at his sick pleasure). I understand that Trump, a sexual predator himself, has pending criminal issues in need of settlement, and punishment, hopefully solvable soon after he leaves the presidency. Thus far, there are at least 19 women that accused Trump of sexual assault.

  204. I listened to the press conference and was appalled that the best defense was that the culture has changed. I call this the Joe Biden defense. To them both I say, no the culture hasn’t changed ... the crimes are no different now than then. What is different is that men in power — and in Acosta’s case there may be many more of them — are finally being held accountable. Thank goodness for the reporting of women like Julie Brown in Miami and Annie Karin at the Times and others for their amazing reporting. Please keep digging! We’re counting on you.

  205. @avrds Annie KARNI ...