Trump Labor Nominee Defends Sweetheart Plea Deal in Billionaire’s Sex Case Involving Underage Girls



To: SPACE Interested Parties
From: Karl Frisch, Allied Progress
Re: Trump Labor Nominee Defends as “Point of Pride,” the Sweetheart Deal He Gave Billionaire in Sex Case Involving Underage Girls
Date: Wednesday, March 22, 2017 

Today during his confirmation hearing in the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, President Trump’s second nominee for Labor Secretary, Alex Acosta, defended the sweetheart plea deal he gave an infamous billionaire in a sex case involving “underage girls,” as a “point of pride.”

Acosta’s role in the case, Trump’s relationship to that billionaire, and allegations (later withdrawn) that Trump raped a 13-year old girl at one of the that billionaire’s notorious sex parties, have yet to receive the scrutiny they deserve. Had Sen. Tim Kaine not asked Acosta about a story published last night by the Washington Post, the issue would not have been raised in the hearing at all.

Here is what we know:

Trump’s Labor Nominee Alexander Acosta Went Soft on Billionaire Jeffrey Epstein in Sex Case Involving “Underage Girls”

Trump’s nominee, R. Alexander Acosta, was the U.S. attorney who helped cut a “sweetheart” deal for Jeffrey Epstein, a hedge fund billionaire guilty to hiring “underage girls for erotic massages and sex” and was “suspected of sexually abusing 30 or more young women.” Sex crimes similar to what Epstein was accused of “typically carry a term of 10 to 20 years in federal prison,” yet Epstein only served thirteen months in the “private wing” of the jail, while still being allowed to “leave the jail six days a week during the day to work at his West Palm Beach office.” Acosta’s federal deal granted Epstein the ability to escape “what should have been serious prison time” by pleading guilty to “light charges in state court,” which the Palm Beach Post called “an indictment of a system that did much more for a criminal than for his victims.”

Acosta publicly claimed in 2011 that new “physical evidence has been discovered” since the trial and suggested victims had “spoken out.” Yet, in a letter from 2008 that was publically released in 2015, Acosta wrote to Epstein’s defense attorneys, explaining that his U.S. Attorney’s Office was prepared to name 32 victims of Epstein, in an incoming indictment. After Acosta left office, a federal judge ordered the public release of federal emails that showed Acosta, who would later admit Epstein’s treatment “undermined the purpose of a jail sentence,” had been communicating with Epstein’s attorneys while “federal authorities and Epstein’s lawyers worked to limit information judges might receive” about the terms of Epstein’s deal.

  • Jeffrey Epstein was a billionaire who made his “fortune as a money manager and split his time between his Palm Beach mansion, his private Caribbean island Little Saint James, his upper East Side Manhattan home, and residences in Santa Fe, N.M., and Paris,” who was “suspected of sexually abusing 30 or more young women, courts record show.” [Paula McMahon, “Billionaire Sex Offender’s ‘Sweetheart Deal’ Violated Our Rights, Victims Tell Feds,” Sun Sentinel (Broward County, FL), January 2, 2016.]
  • In 2009, the Palm Beach Post editorialized against the plea deal in the Jeffrey Epstein case saying, “The deal is an indictment of a system that did much more for a criminal than for his victims. Jeffrey Epstein–officially a registered sex offender but in plain terms a pervert–escaped what should have been serious prison time. Instead, the federal deal allowed him to plead guilty to light charges in state court. He spent just 13 months — nights only — in the Palm Beach County Jail.” [Editorial, “Sleazy Perp, Sleazier Deal,” Palm Beach Post, September 22, 2009.]
  • In 2015, a federal judge released emails and letters exchanged by Epstein’s defense attorneys and federal prosecutors that appeared “to indicate that federal authorities and Epstein’s lawyers worked to limit information judges might receive about aspects” of Epstein’s deal. [Josh Gerstein, “Judge Unseals More Details in Jeffrey Epstein Underage Sex Lawsuit,” Politico, July 7, 2015.]
  • Acosta attempted to defend his actions in the Epstein matter saying, “‘Our judgment in this case, based on the evidence known at the time, was that it was better to have a billionaire serve time in jail, register as a sex offender, and pay his victims restitution than risk a trial with a reduced likelihood of success.’” He added, though, that Epstein’s “‘highly unusual treatment’” in jail–he “was allowed to leave the jail six days a week during the day to work at his West Palm Beach office for several hours on a work-release program”–“‘undermined the purpose of a jail sentence.’” [Paula McMahon, “Billionaire Sex Offender’s ‘Sweetheart Deal’ Violated Our Rights, Victims Tell Feds,” Sun Sentinel (Broward County, FL), January 2, 2016.]
  • In July 2008, Acosta wrote a letter to Epstein’s defense attorneys, saying that his U.S. Attorney’s Office was prepared to name thirty-two victims of Jeffrey Epstein, in an incoming indictment of Epstein. [“R. Alexander Acosta to Jack A. Goldberger, 8 July, 2008, U.S. Attorney’s Office,” Jane Doe #1 and Jane Doe #2 v. United States, No. 9:08-cv-80736-KAM – Document 268 (Entered on S.D. Fla. Docket Oct. 22, 2014), pp 5-6.]

Trump Said Billionaire Jeffrey Epstein Was “Terrific”

In 2002, Trump said he had known Epstein “‘for fifteen years,'” and while he knew Epstein liked women “‘on the younger side,'” declared that Epstein was a “‘terrific guy.'” Additionally, when the FBI looked through Epstein’s private address book, “they found 14 different phone numbers for Trump, including numbers for his security guard and houseman” as well as Trump’s daughter Ivanka.

  • In 2002, Donald Trump boasted that he had known Jeffrey Epstein “‘for fifteen years,'” and despite the fact that Epstein “‘likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side,'” said Epstein was a “‘terrific guy.'” [Landon Thomas Jr., ” Jeffrey Epstein: International Moneyman of Mystery,” New York Magazine, October 28, 2002.]

A Woman Accused Trump of Raping Her at One of Billionaire Jeffrey Epstein’s Sex Parties When She Was Only 13 Years Old

An anonymous woman accused Trump of repeatedly raping her when she was a “13-year-old girl in 1994,” saying he took advantage of her as a girl at “parties thrown by since-convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, who was widely known to throw wild parties with young women and girls.”

Trump Has Denied the Allegations and Distanced Himself from Billionaire Jeffrey Epstein

Trump has denied the allegations calling them “categorically false” and “disgusting at the highest level.” Since 2016, his attorney and campaign spokeswoman have tried to distance him from Epstein as well. The woman’s suit was ultimately dropped in November of 2016.

  • In November of 2016, the “woman who accused Donald Trump of raping her two decades ago when she was a 13-year-old aspiring teen model . . . dropped a federal lawsuit over the alleged assaults.” The woman’s lawyer “said Trump’s accuser had received threats and was too frightened to show up” at a scheduled news conference regarding the matter. “Two earlier suits” had been “filed over the same alleged events” but were dismissed and withdrawn. [Josh Gerstein, “Woman Suing Trump Over Alleged Teen Rape Drops Suit, Again,” Politico, November 4, 2016.]

To speak with Karl Frisch about the Puzder nomination please contact Jon Reinish at 202-999-0461 or

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Allied Progress is a nationwide, progressive advocacy organization that uses hard-hitting research and creative campaigns to hold Wall Street and powerful special interests accountable. Since launching in 2015, the organization has led high-profile campaigns on several issues including reforming the payday lending industry and exposing the those working to cripple the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).




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