With the ruling of Judge Kenneth A. Marra of Federal District Court in West Palm Beach on the obscene plea deal with Jeffrey E. Epstein, it is time for Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta to resign. Marra found, as many of us have long argued, that the deal cut by Acosta violated federal law and allowed the infamous financier to get a disgracefully low sentence. Many of us objected to his nomination by President Donald Trump and condemned the Senate for confirming him. It is now time for him to resign.
I have previously written about the disgraceful sweetheart deal given to accused serial pedophile Jeffrey Epstein. The deal was struck by Acosta not only succeeded in protecting Epstein from serious jail time but protected a host of high-profile friends including Bill Clinton who were regulars at his infamous island resort. Epstein ran the notorious “Lolita Express” where he took friends like Bill Clinton by plane to his private estate on the Caribbean island of Little Saint James with young girls who allegedly were used as prostitutes. Epstein was known for his preference for young women and powerful figures like Clinton were repeat guests.
Despite a strong case for prosecution, Epstein’s lawyers, including Alan Dershowitz and Ken Starr, were able to secure a ridiculous deal with prosecutors. He was accused of abusing more than forty minor girls (with many between the ages of 13 and 17). Instead of being held accountable, he was allowed to plead guilty to a Florida state charge of felony solicitation of underage girls in 2008 and served a 13-month jail sentence. Moreover, to my lasting surprise, the Senate approved the man who cut that disgraceful deal, former Miami U.S. attorney Alexander Acosta, as labor secretary. The Senate did not seem to care that Acosta betrayed these victims and protected a serial abuser. In other words, everyone was protected–-The powerful Johns, Epstein, the prosecutors–just not the victims who were never consulted before Epstein got his sweetheart deal.
The secret agreement cut by Acosta violated the federal Crime Victims’ Rights Act. Theoretically, that could undo the deal but it is unlikely. Acosta fixed it to guarantee that neither Epstein nor his powerful friends would face true justice.
Or course, after cutting this ridiculous plea deal, Acosta’s career did not suffer. To the contrary, he flourished and even ended up with a cabinet position.
I am usually inclined to treat bad decisions as lapses in judgment that can be overcome. However, this deal is different. From the start, it was highly suspicious and secret. Acosta hid the details from the victims as well as the public. It made a lot of powerful people breathe easier but did great injustice to the victims. It was not just a bad decision. It was a mockery of justice.
It is now time for Acosta to be held accountable for guaranteeing that Acosta and his powerful friends were not held accountable. It is time for him to resign.
Here is the opinion.
If Acosta does not do the right thing, it should be attached to a note from President Trump asking for Acosta’s resignation.