Lawyers for victims who were sexually abused as minors by multimillionaire Jeffrey Epstein have formally demanded that the government vacate Epstein’s plea deal, void his federal immunity and reopen his sex trafficking investigation, the Miami Herald has learned.
Lawyers Brad Edwards and Paul Cassell, who represent two of Epstein’s victims, sent a letter to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida making the request in the wake of a federal judge’s ruling last week that the plea deal negotiated with Epstein 11 years ago was illegal.
The judge, U.S. District Court Judge Kenneth A. Marra of Palm Beach, gave lawyers and federal prosecutors 15 days to confer on a remedy that would satisfy Epstein’s victims, who were never told about the secret non-prosecution agreement, and were misled by federal prosecutors in violation of the Crime Victims’ Rights Act. [Continue reading…]
Labor Secretary R. Alexander Acosta is facing rising pressure — and a possible summons to testify before Congress — over the lenient plea bargain that he helped negotiate as Miami’s top federal prosecutor with a wealthy acquaintance of President Trump’s accused of trafficking children for sex.
Members of Florida’s House delegation have been in talks with the chairmen of the House Oversight and Judiciary Committees about calling Mr. Acosta to publicly answer questions about a 2006 plea agreement with the investor and Trump acquaintance Jeffrey E. Epstein, who was accused of sex offenses involving girls as young as 14. He pleaded guilty to more minor prostitution charges.
House leaders are likely to approve some kind of a hearing, although it is unclear when, according to three lawmakers involved in the discussions. Some of the young women said to have been exploited by Mr. Epstein have also expressed through their attorneys a willingness to publicly testify about the deal.
The appearance would be either at a committee hearing or in front of the House women’s caucus, they said.
“The Trump administration needs to get him the heck out of there — this is the person we have enforcing the country’s child labor laws,” said Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, one of 19 House Democrats who have called on Mr. Acosta to resign over what they called a “despicable” deal. [Continue reading…]