As Judge Rules DOL Secretary Acosta Broke Law in Child Sex Abuse Case, Allied Progress Launches Full Page Ads:
Why Is Sen. Ben Sasse Not Pushing For a Serious Investigation Into Acosta’s Misconduct?
New Allied Progress Report Details How Acosta Made a Special Exception for a Politically-Connected Billionaire By Granting a Wrist-Slap Plea Deal
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Consumer advocacy group Allied Progress will run a full page ad in the Omaha World-Herald on Sunday, March 3rd and digital ads this week in Nebraska calling on Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE), a member of Senate Judiciary Committee, to support the Inspector General Access Act. The bipartisan legislation would give the Department of Justice (DOJ) Inspector General the authority he has asked for from Congress to investigate prosecutorial misconduct by Alexander Acosta, President Trump’s Labor Secretary and former U.S. Attorney, who in 2008 granted an inexcusably lenient plea deal to a politically-connected billionaire accused of sexually abused more than 100 underage girls. The ads come on the heels of a federal judge’s ruling on Feb. 21st that Acosta broke the law by failing to disclose Epstein’s sweetheart deal to the victims and their families, a deal that many of the victims still fighting to overturn today.Click to View the Full-Page Ad to run in Omaha HERE and the promoted video ‘Point of Pride’ HERE.
“A federal judge found Secretary Acosta broke the law when he hatched a secret plea deal for a billionaire child sex predator, but Senator Sasse is not doing enough to support a serious Justice Department investigation into why it happened and how this can be prevented in the future,” said Kyle Herrig, senior advisor to Allied Progress and a Nebraska native. “Senator Sasse likes to talk tough on Twitter, but his calls for a toothless investigation from behind closed doors are simply not enough. Senator Sasse should not stand in the way of justice for Epstein’s victims and their families. Just because Acosta’s in the Trump administration doesn’t mean he gets a free pass. Getting tough with someone who went soft on a child sex predator shouldn’t be a hard decision.”
The geo-targeted digital ads on Twitter and Facebook encourage Senator Sasse’s constituents to share a video called “Point of Pride” on social media networks and to sign a petition demanding he hold Acosta accountable by moving forward on H.R. 202, the Inspector General Access Act. The video highlights Acosta’s appalling remarks during his Senate confirmation hearing that he considers his handling of the Epstein case to be a “point of pride.”
Continued Herrig: “Secretary Acosta should resign immediately in the face of the judge’s ruling, but considering he bragged during his confirmation hearing that his handling of the Epstein is a ‘point of pride’ and that the White House is now making excuses for him, no one is holding their breath. Given Acosta’s stunning lack of judgement, he has no business continuing to make decisions as a Labor Secretary who could potentially let the powerful exploit the powerless on a much larger scale.”
The Inspector General Access Act passed with bipartisan support in the U.S. House earlier this year and is currently collecting dust in the Senate Judiciary Committee. Earlier this month, the DOJ Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) announced its own investigation into Acosta’s misconduct in the Epstein case, however such an investigation is simply incapable of going far enough due to OPR’s lack of subpoena power, its inability to issue binding disciplinary recommendations and its reputation of secrecy with regard to its probes. Acosta’s illegal plea deal was conducted in secret; the investigation into why should not also be conducted out of the public view. That is why on February 14th, Allied Progress hand-delivered letters to the offices of every Senate Judiciary Committee member including Senator Sasse’sstressing that an investigation by the DOJ Inspector General would be far more meaningful, transparent and accountable than an OPR investigation. But it won’t happen until the Senate does its part and gives the Inspector General the authority he requested. Two weeks later, there has been no response from Senator Sasse explaining his inaction.
Allied Progress also released a new report today examining Acosta’s case history as a federal prosecutor and found that Acosta repeatedly sought harsh sentences for sexual predators engaged in similar criminal behavior as Epstein. The disparity between the tough prison sentences he typically pushed for and the cushy plea deal Acosta reached with Epstein raises questions why Acosta not only gave Epstein special treatment but was willing to break the law to do it.
Added Herrig: “When Alex Acosta was a U.S. Attorney, he usually threw the book at sex criminals. But when faced with a case involving a wealthy, well-connected man, he chose to treat the accused like a victim while illegally keeping the real victims in the dark. Alex Acosta was a big part of the problem that creates two justice systems in America – one for the rich and powerful, and one for everyone else. He should not be serving the public in any capacity today.”
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
There Is Bipartisan Support For The Inspector General Access Act, Which Would Empower The Justice Department To Investigate Alex Acosta’s Work As A Federal Attorney.
H.R. 202, The Inspector General Access Act Of 2019, Would Empower The Department Of Justice Inspector General To Investigate Alex Acosta’s Work As A U.S. Attorney.
The Inspector General Access Act Of 2019 “Transfers Responsibility For Investigating Certain Allegations Of Misconduct From The Department Of Justice (DOJ) Office Of Professional Responsibility To The DOJ Office Of The Inspector General.” “[The Inspector General Access Act of 2019] transfers responsibility for investigating certain allegations of misconduct from the Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of Professional Responsibility to the DOJ Office of the Inspector General. Specifically, the bill transfers responsibility for allegations relating to a DOJ attorney’s authority to investigate, litigate, or provide legal advice.” [H.R. 202 – Inspector General Access Act of 2019, U.S. House of Representatives, 01/03/19]
The Senate Version Of The Bill Introduced Last Year Was Co-Sponsored By Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA).
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) Said Misconduct By DOJ Attorneys Should Investigated By The Independent Inspector General…Not By Other DOJ Attorneys. Grassley, who co-sponsored the Inspector General Access Act of 2018, said, “‘misconduct by DOJ attorneys is a serious matter and should be investigated by an independent Inspector General, not by other department attorneys, so there is no real or perceived conflict of interest.’”[Press Release, “Grassley, Lee, Murkowski Introduce Inspector General Access Act of 2018,” Sen. Chuck Grassley, 06/06/18]
- The Senate version of the bill introduced last year, S.3003 – Inspector General Access Act of 2018, was sponsored by Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) and co-sponsored by Chuck Grassley (R-IA), and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK). [Cosponsors – S.3003 – Inspector General Access Act of 2018, Congress.gov, 06/06/18]
A Federal Judge Ruled That Alex Acosta Broke The Law For Failing To Charge Billionaire Jeffrey Epstein For His Serial Sexual Abuse Of Underage Girls—And Offering Him A Secret Plea Bargain Instead.
In February 2019, A Judge Ruled That Alex Acosta Broke Federal Law By Keeping Jeffrey Epstein’s Plea Deal A Secret From His Victims.
On February 21, 2019, U.S. District Judge Kenneth A. Marra Ruled That Prosecutors In Jeffrey Epstein’s Case “Violated The Law By Hiding The Agreement From Epstein’s Victims.” “U.S. District Judge Kenneth A. Marra, in a 33-page opinion, said that the evidence he reviewed showed that Jeffrey Epstein had been operating an international sex operation in which he and others recruited underage girls — not only in Florida — but from overseas, in violation of federal law. […] Marra agreed, saying that while prosecutors had the right to resolve the case in any way they saw fit, they violated the law by hiding the agreement from Epstein’s victims.” [Julie K. Brown, “Federal prosecutors broke law in Jeffrey Epstein case, judge rules,” Miami Herald, 02/21/19]
- The Crime Victims’ Rights Act “Grants Victims Of Federal Crimes A Series Of Rights, Including The Ability To Confer With Prosecutors About A Possible Plea Deal.” “Upon learning that Epstein had pleaded guilty without their knowledge, two of his victims filed a lawsuit in the Southern District of Florida in 2008, claiming that prosecutors violated the Crime Victims’ Rights Act, which grants victims of federal crimes a series of rights, including the ability to confer with prosecutors about a possible plea deal.” [Julie K. Brown, “Federal prosecutors broke law in Jeffrey Epstein case, judge rules,”Miami Herald, 02/21/19]
Jeffrey Epstein Routinely Sexually Abused Girls Recruited To Give Massages At His Palm Beach Mansion–And May Have Abused More Than 80 Underage Girls.
Jeffrey Epstein Routinely Paid Underage Girls To Give Him Massages And Subjected Them To Sexual Abuse.
Jeffrey Epstein Would Pay Underage Girls To Give Him Massages, At Which “He Often Subjected The Girls To Sexual Abuse — Asking Them To Touch Him While He Masturbated, Touching Them Himself, And Sometimes Having Intercourse With Them.” “According to court and police records reviewed by the Miami Herald’s Julie Brown, Epstein routinely had underage girls brought to his Palm Beach mansion, where he paid them to give him massages. During the massages, he often subjected the girls to sexual abuse — asking them to touch him while he masturbated, touching them himself, and sometimes having intercourse with them, Brown reports.” [Jane Coaston and Anna North, “Jeffrey Epstein, the convicted sex offender who is friends with Donald Trump and Bill Clinton, explained,” Vox, 12/04/18]
Jeffrey Epstein Paid Young Female Recruiters To Assemble “A Large, Cult-Like Network Of Underage Girls.”
Jeffrey Epstein Was Accused Of Paying Girls To “Recruit” Other Underage Girls For Him. “His client, Palm Beach multimillionaire Jeffrey Epstein, 54, was accused of assembling a large, cult-like network of underage girls — with the help of young female recruiters — to coerce into having sex acts behind the walls of his opulent waterfront mansion as often as three times a day, the Town of Palm Beach police found.” [Julie K. Brown, “How a future Trump Cabinet member gave a serial sex abuser the deal of a lifetime,”The Miami-Herald, 11/28/18]
The Miami Herald Identified Around 80 Women Who Said They Were Sexually Abused By Jeffrey Epstein.
Jeffrey Epstein Was Described As Running A “’Sexual Pyramid Scheme’” With Potentially 80 Women Having Been “Molested Or Otherwise Sexually Abused By Epstein.” “According to Joseph Recarey, the lead Palm Beach detective on the case, Epstein was essentially operating a ‘sexual pyramid scheme.’ Brown identified about 80 women who say they were molested or otherwise sexually abused by Epstein, and some accounts suggest the total number may be much higher.” [Jane Coaston and Anna North, “Jeffrey Epstein, the convicted sex offender who is friends with Donald Trump and Bill Clinton, explained,” Vox, 12/04/18]
Jeffrey Epstein’s Plea Deal Let Him Avoid A Serious Sentence For His Crimes. Instead, He Served A Little Over A Year In County Jail, Which He Got To Leave For Twelve Hours A Day, Six Days A Week, To Work In His Comfortable Office.
Jeffrey Epstein Only Served “13 Months In A County Jail.”
Jeffrey Epstein Could Have Served Life In Prison, But “Ultimately Got Just 13 Months In A County Jail.” “Jeffrey Epstein could have gone to prison for life. The money manager was accused of sexually abusing dozens of underage girls at his Palm Beach mansion between 2001 and 2006. But as Julie K. Brown reports at the Miami Herald, he ultimately got just 13 months in a county jail, thanks to a deal signed by Alexander Acosta, then the US Attorney for Miami and now President Trump’s secretary of labor.” [Jane Coaston and Anna North, “Jeffrey Epstein, the convicted sex offender who is friends with Donald Trump and Bill Clinton, explained,” Vox, 12/04/18]
Jeffrey Epstein Was Allowed To Leave His Private Wing In County Jail Six Days A Week, For 12 Hours A Day—Even Though Sex Offenders Didn’t Qualify For Work Release.
Jeffrey Epstein Served His Sentence In A “Private Wing Of The Palm Beach County Jail.” “Unlike other convicted sex offenders, Epstein didn’t face the kind of rough justice that child sex offenders do in Florida state prisons. Instead of being sent to state prison, Epstein was housed in a private wing of the Palm Beach County jail.” [Julie K. Brown, “How a future Trump Cabinet member gave a serial sex abuser the deal of a lifetime,”The Miami-Herald, 11/28/18]
Jeffrey Epstein Was Allowed To Leave His Cell “Six Days A Week, For 12 Hours A Day,” Spending This Time In A “Comfortable Office” In West Palm Beach. “And rather than having him sit in a cell most of the day, the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office allowed Epstein work release privileges, which enabled him to leave the jail six days a week, for 12 hours a day, to go to a comfortable office that Epstein had set up in West Palm Beach.” [Julie K. Brown, “How a future Trump Cabinet member gave a serial sex abuser the deal of a lifetime,”The Miami-Herald, 11/28/18]
- “This Was Granted Despite Explicit Sheriff’s Department Rules Stating That Sex Offenders Don’t Qualify For Work Release.” [Julie K. Brown, “How a future Trump Cabinet member gave a serial sex abuser the deal of a lifetime,”The Miami-Herald, 11/28/18]
Instead Of Serving Time In Prison, Jeffrey Epstein Is Now “Jet Setting” Between New York And His Permanent Residence In The U.S. Virgin Islands In His Private Jet.
Jeffrey Epstein Is Now “Jet Setting” In His “Private Jet,” Flying “Back And Forth Mainly Between New York And His Permanent Residency In The U.S. Virgin Islands.” “GARCIA-NAVARRO: What is Epstein doing now? [MIAMI HERALD REPORTER JULIE] BROWN: He has a private jet. You know, he flies back and forth mainly between New York and his permanent residency in the U.S. Virgin Islands. But he also – you know, over the summer, he was abroad. He was in Paris. And he still has the house in Palm Beach. GARCIA-NAVARRO: So he’s basically living his life. BROWN: Yeah, he’s jet setting. He’s also tried to, I think, repair his reputation, if that’s possible, by donating, you know, a lot of money to mostly scientific research causes. He’s donated a lot of money to Harvard University and to various other arts and science foundations.” [“Jeffrey Epstein Allegedly Sexually Abused Underage Girls And Served A Light Sentence,”NPR, 12/02/18]
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