In light of the charges against multi-millionaire Jeffrey Epstein, many Democrats from Congress are calling for Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta’s resignation.
The 66-year-old Epstein was charged with federal sex trafficking crimes involving minors on Monday. However, this is not his first offense. In 2008, he was charged with similar crimes in the state of Florida.
However, at the time he was offered a deal by US prosecutors that while it forced him into incarceration for 13 months and to register as a sex offender, it also allowed him to travel to and from work each day and avoid a federal trial.
The current Department of Labor’s Secretary Alexander Acosta as a federal prosecuting attorney in Florida when this happened and is considered to be involved in the lenient deal.
As a result, Democrats such as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer are demanding that he either resign or that he be fired by President Trump.
According to Schumer, Acosta needs to “explain himself,” although he later said, “it is now impossible for anyone to have confidence in Secretary Acosta’s ability to lead the Department of Labor.”
He added, “Instead of persecuting a predator and serial sex trafficker of children, Acosta chose to let him off easy.”
Acosta has defended himself by saying on Twitter “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 went on to say, “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.”
However, Acosta is not the only one being condemned for knowing Epstein. President Trump has also been called to “answer for statements he had made about his relationship with Mr. Epstein” when the two were known to travel in the same social circles.
In 2002, Trump told New York magazine that he had “known Jeff for fifteen years. Terrific guy. He’s a lot of fun to be with.” And while Trump noted that he knew about Epstein’s love of “beautiful women… and many of them are on the younger side,” it does not indicate that our president was knowledgeable about his criminal sexual activities.
After all, Epstein was not convicted or charged until several years later. And by then he had already been kicked out of Trump’s exclusive Mar-a-Lago club in South Florida for the sexual assault of an underage girl.
But Schumer is adamant that Trump “needs to answer for this… and ‘I don’t recall’ is not an acceptable answer in this case, particularly since President Trump appointed Mr. Acosta to such a powerful position.”
While the President said on Tuesday that he backed Acosta he also said that he and his administration would be looking into just how Epstein’s case was handled by the Labor Secretary back in 2008.
Moreover, it important to note that Acosta was not the only prosecutor involved with the case and the decision was not entirely up to him.
However, when it comes to other members in Congress, several from both parties have defended Acosta on the issue. One of the eight Democrats who voted for Acosta, West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin said on Monday, “If he made a mistake or a judgment call or something like that, does that affect the way he’s doing his job right now? I’m going to basically judge him on what job he’s doing and how he’s doing it.” He also added, “I’m not getting into that feeding frenzy.”
Most others in Congress seem to have the same mind for silence has ruled for the most part with many saying that they need more information about the case before they can say one way or the other.
It is noted that no Republicans have called for him to go yet, but some are unsure that he will be able to stand up to the pressure the loudest few are putting on him.
Democrat Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin from Illinois said that the pressure is “serious enough for him to resign” and that “it reaches a point where they (accused members) don’t want to put up with it anymore. And there’s a lot of publicity in this.”