Trump’s labor secretary tweets through the backlash to his Epstein plea deal

Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta defended his handling of a plea deal struck with Jeffrey Epstein, the billionaire who was recently arrested on sex trafficking charges, amid growing calls from Democrats for him to resign from his post in President Donald Trump’s administration.

Acosta, while serving as a U.S. Attorney in Miami, was part of creating a plea deal with Epstein in 2008 that granted him a lighter sentence. As CNN notes, the deal allowed Epstein to plead guilty to prostitution charges and serve 13 months in prison. Earlier this year, a federal judge found that the Department of Justice broke the law because it did not confer with Epstein’s victims about the deal, according to the news outlet.

Over the weekend, Epstein was arrested for allegedly sex trafficking minors in New York and Florida in the early 2000s. He pled not guilty to the charges on Monday.

Trump’s now-Labor Secretary’s involvement in the plea deal has sparked a number of Democrats, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) to call on Acosta to resign.

[email protected] must step down,” Pelosi tweeted late Monday night. “As US Attorney, he engaged in an unconscionable agreement w/ Jeffrey Epstein kept secret from courageous, young victims preventing them from seeking justice. This was known by @POTUS when he appointed him to the cabinet. #AcostaResign.”

On Tuesday, facing calls for his resignation, Acosta defended the plea deal in a series of tweets.

“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 wrote, adding: “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.”

Acosta then finished his thread on Twitter:

“Now that new evidence and additional testimony is available, the NY prosecution offers an important opportunity to more fully bring him to justice.”

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Andrew Wyrich

Andrew Wyrich

Andrew Wyrich is a politics staff writer for the Daily Dot, covering the intersection of politics and the internet. Andrew has written for USA Today, NorthJersey.com, and other newspapers and websites. His work has been recognized by the Society of the Silurians, Investigative Reporters & Editors (IRE), and the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ).