Acosta defends handling of Epstein plea deal
Tuesday morning, we complained that the U.S. Secretary of Labor Alex Acosta had yet to address his controversial, and reviled, sweetheart deal in 2008 with sexual predator Jeffrey Epstein.
Unfortunately, Acosta’s tweets later in the day put a sickeningly upbeat spin on things:
1. “The crimes committed by Epstein are horrific, and I am pleased that NY prosecutors are moving forward with a case based on new evidence.”
2. “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.”
3. “Now that new evidence and additional testimony is available, the NY prosecution offers an important opportunity to more fully bring him to justice.”
So, we’ll take it from the top:
1. Acosta’s right: The crimes committed by Epstein — molesting dozens of girls as young as 14 — are horrific. But they were also horrific a dozen years ago when, as the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Acosta failed to come down hard on Epstein, slapping him on the wrist instead.
2. With the evidence available more than a decade ago, Acosta and his team possibly could have put the creepy Epstein behind bars for the rest of his life. Federal prosecutors may have “insisted” that Epstein get jail time. Too bad they rolled over and agreed to an 18-month sentence, of which the sexual molester served only 13. Clearly, Acosta failed to come down hard on Epstein, slapping him on the wrist instead.
3. Please, we’re not dumb. It’s not about the new evidence that Geoffrey Berman, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, had the spine to use to arrest Epstein on Saturday in New Jersey and charge him with sex trafficking. In 2005, Acosta’s prosecutors drew up a 53-page indictment, this after Palm Beach County police did the time consuming heavy lifting of gathering evidence against the hedge fund manager. It all went nowhere — Acosta failed to come down hard on Epstein, slapping him on the wrist instead.
Like we said, sickening.