In 2007, then Miami U.S. Attorney Alex Acosta, who would later be appointed by then President Donald Trump to his Cabinet as Labor Secretary, made a non-prosecution agreement with Jeffrey Epstein that barred even his victims from learning about it, a fact that was highlighted in the Epstein file dump from Wednesday evening.
Then as Labor Secretary under Donald Trump, Alex Acosta tried to slash funding for sex trafficking victims by 79%. This raises a lot of questions about why he was put in that position by Trump after he gave Epstein the sweetheart deal that shut down federal prosecutions into his sexual abuse and trafficking scheme that involved at least 36 underage girls and silenced his victims.
2007: Alex Acosta, later to be Donald Trump’s Labor secretary, made a non-prosecution agreement with Epstein that barred even his victims from learning about it. pic.twitter.com/xhn2qAWChG
— Sarah Reese Jones (@PoliticusSarah) January 4, 2024
Years later, while he was Labor Secretary, this agreement was condemned as illegal because Acosta did not confer with Epstein’s victims over it and in fact a confidentiality provision barred its disclosure to anyone, including his victims.
In February of 2019, a judge ruled that federal prosecutors under Alex Acosta “broke the law when they concealed a plea agreement from more than 30 underage victims who had been sexually abused by wealthy New York hedge fund manager Jeffrey Epstein, a federal judge ruled Thursday.”
In April of 2019 during an Appropriations Committee Hearing, then Vice Chair of the House Democratic Caucus Rep. Katherine Clark (MA) questioned Acosta about his fitness to oversee the DOL “based on his history of siding with the powerful over the victims of exploitation and his proposal to cut programs that are meant to protect workers and survivors.”
“One out of seven runaways are likely child sex trafficking victims, and there are estimates that hundreds of thousands of adults and children are victims of sex and labor trafficking in the US. And yet, you proposed a budget cut of 79% to the International Labor Affairs Bureau (ILAB), a cut of $68 million to just $18.5 million. But this isn’t the first time you’ve ignored human trafficking, is it?”
In Acosta’s plans for the DOL 2020 budget, he proposed slashing funds for the International Labor Affairs Bureau (ILAB) from $68 million to $18.5 million, a reduction “so drastic that experts say it would effectively kill off many federal efforts to curb sex trafficking and put the lives of large numbers of children at risk.”
The ILAB is a member of the Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, the Department of Labor, responsible for combating exploitative child labor, forced labor, and human trafficking.
The ILAB’s mission statement reads like it combats THE issue that supposedly galvanized Donald Trump’s supporters to his side (Pizzagate, and Q-Anon’s obsession with finding pedophilia everywhere except where it actually is): “ILAB’s mission is to strengthen global labor standards, enforce labor commitments among trading partners, promote racial and gender equity, and combat international child labor, forced labor, and human trafficking.”
In July of 2019, the deal Acosta gave Epstein came under “renewed scrutiny after Epstein was charged Monday with having allegedly operated a sex trafficking ring in which he allegedly sexually abused dozens of underage girls.”
Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) told Jake Tapper at the time, “It was a sweetheart deal and in some ways, Jake, the thing that makes me the maddest is when Secretary Acosta let Epstein plead guilty to prostitution, these girls weren’t prostitutes. They were middle schoolers who were sex trafficking victims and allowing him to plead guilty to prostitution is like salt in the wound.”
Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE) was not impressed with the Justice Department’s handling of Epstein case, after it concluded that Alex Acosta had shown “poor judgement.”
“Letting a well-connected billionaire get away with child rape and international sex trafficking isn’t ‘poor judgment’ — it is a disgusting failure. Americans ought to be enraged,” Sasse said.
Acosta eventually resigned.
So far, while both former presidents Donald Trump and Bill Clinton have been named, neither have been accused of wrongdoing.
Only one of them is currently running for president, though, and he gave Epstein enabler Alex Acosta a position in his Cabinet with purview over child sex trafficking victims, and Acosta then tried to slash that budget by 79%.
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Sarah has been credentialed to cover President Barack Obama, then VP Joe Biden, 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, and exclusively interviewed Speaker Nancy Pelosi multiple times and exclusively covered her first home appearance after the first impeachment of then President Donald Trump.
Sarah is two-time Telly award winning video producer and a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.