Acosta explains why he didn't go after Epstein

Labor nominee Acosta cut deal with billionaire guilty in sex abuse case

President Trump called Epstein a “terrific guy” back in 2002, saying that “he’s a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side.”

Now, Trump is on the witness list in a Florida court battle over how federal prosecutors handled allegations that Epstein, 64, sexually abused more than 40 minor girls, most of them between the ages of 13 and 17. The lawsuit questions why Trump’s nominee for labor secretary, former Miami U.S. attorney Alexander Acosta, whose Senate confirmation hearing began Wednesday morning, cut a non-prosecution deal with Epstein a decade ago rather than pursuing a federal indictment that Acosta’s staff had advocated.

But Epstein’s unusually light punishment — he was facing up to a life sentence had he been convicted on federal charges — has raised questions about how Acosta handled the case.

Former Palm Beach police chief Michael Reiter, whose department conducted the initial investigation into Epstein’s behavior, said in a civil lawsuit deposition that Epstein got off easy.

“That wasn’t an appropriate resolution of this matter,” Reiter said, arguing that the charges leveled against Epstein were “very minor,” compared with what the facts called for. In a letter to parents of Epstein’s victims, Reiter said justice had not been served.

Prosecutors in Acosta’s Miami office who had joined the FBI in the investigation concluded, according to documents produced by the U.S. attorney’s office, that Epstein, working through several female assistants, “would recruit underage females to travel to his home in Palm Beach to engage in lewd conduct in exchange for money … Some went there as much as 100 times or more. Some of the women’s conduct was limited to performing a topless or nude massage while Mr. Epstein masturbated himself. For other women, the conduct escalated to full sexual intercourse.”

Federal prosecutors detailed their findings in an 82-page prosecution memo and a 53-page indictment, but Epstein was never indicted. In 2007, Acosta signed a non-prosecution deal in which he agreed not to pursue federal charges against Epstein or four women who the government said procured girls for him. In exchange, Epstein agreed to plead guilty to a solicitation charge in state court, accept a 13-month sentence, register as a sex offender and pay restitution to the victims identified in the federal investigation.

This agreement will not be made part of any public record,” the deal between Epstein and Acosta says. The document was unsealed by a federal judge in a civil lawsuit in 2015.

During Wednesday’s confirmation hearing Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) pressed Acosta about the plea agreement reached with Epstein.

Acosta told the committee that the case started at the state level before the Department of Justice decided to get involved. He said the original charge debated would not have led to any jail time and that “based on the evidence,” prosecutors decided to go with a deal where Epstein would have to register as a sex offender and agree to a two-year prison sentence.

His testimony Wednesday reflected Acosta’s explanation of his decision in a “To whom it may concern” letter that he released to news organizations three years after the decision: “The bottom line is this: Mr. Jeffrey Epstein, a billionaire, served time in jail and is now a registered sex offender. He has been required to pay his victims restitution, though restitution clearly cannot compensate for the crime.” Acosta wrote that the case against Epstein grew stronger over the years because more victims spoke out after Epstein was convicted.

In the 2011 letter explaining his decision in the Epstein case, Acosta said he backed off from pressing charges after “a year-long assault on the prosecution and the prosecutors” by “an army of legal superstars” who represented Epstein, including Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz; Kenneth Starr, who as independent counsel led the investigation that brought about President Bill Clinton’s impeachment; and some of the nation’s most prominent defense attorneys, such as Roy Black, Gerald Lefcourt and Jay Lefkowitz.

“The defense strategy was not limited to legal issues,” Acosta wrote. “Defense counsel investigated individual prosecutors and their families, looking for personal peccadilloes that may provide a basis for disqualification.”

Dershowitz said in an interview that no such effort to rattle the prosecutors ever took place. “That’s just dead wrong,” he said. “I would never participate in anything of that kind. Of course we investigated the witnesses but not Acosta’s deputies. That’s absurd.”

Acosta’s “intention was to indict, and he fought hard and tried to get the best deal he could,” Dershowitz said. “We outlawyered him.” Epstein did not return a call seeking comment.

Conchita Sarnoff, the author of “TrafficKing,” a book on the Epstein case, said in an interview that Acosta told her a few years after his decision not to prosecute that “he felt incapable of going up against those eight powerful attorneys. He felt his career was at stake.

In his letter about the decision, Acosta, who has been dean of the law school at Florida International University since 2009, acknowledged that “some prosecutors felt that we should just go to trial, and at times I felt that frustration myself.” He also complained that Epstein “received highly unusual treatment while in jail,” including being allowed to serve much of his sentence in the county jail rather than a state prison, and being permitted to leave the jail six days a week to work at home before returning to jail to sleep. (He also got a massage by a woman 67 times.)

“The treatment that he received while in state custody undermined the purpose of a jail sentence,” Acosta said.

Dershowitz said Acosta “was very anxious to prosecute” Epstein, but “we persuaded them that they didn’t have enough evidence of interstate transportation” of the underage girls to warrant federal charges.

But Reiter, the former police chief, said the FBI had evidence “from flight logs or something” that an underage victim “was transported on an aircraft of Mr. Epstein.”

“Some may feel that the prosecution should have been tougher,” Acosta wrote. “Evidence that has come to light since 2007 may encourage that view.” But the prosecutor argued that his office’s investigation allowed state prosecutors to strengthen their charges against Epstein. And Acosta said that those who disagree with his decision “are not the ones who at the time reviewed the evidence available for trial and assessed the likelihood of success.”

The deal Acosta made with Epstein precluded any new federal prosecution based on offenses he may have committed between 2001 and 2007, but in Florida, Trump is on the witness list in a civil case in which two attorneys accuse federal prosecutors of having deceived Epstein’s victims by failing to inform them that they would not charge Epstein.

Although Trump and Bill Clinton flew on Epstein’s plane and visited his homes, neither president has been accused of taking part in the sexual misdeeds. But lawyers for Epstein’s victims say Trump nonetheless may have useful information. Trump banned Epstein from his Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach “because Epstein sexually assaulted an underage girl at the club,” Bradley Edwards, an attorney who represents three of the young women, said in court documents.

Oh the irony!

Trump and Clinton are both among the dozens of names that appeared in a “black book” of Epstein’s phone contacts that his houseman, Alfredo Rodriguez, obtained. Rodriguez, who died in 2015, was convicted of obstruction of justice in 2010 after he tried to sell the book for $50,000 to lawyers representing Epstein’s victims. In the book, Rodriguez circled the names of contacts he said were involved in sexual misbehavior at Epstein’s properties. There were no circles around the names of Trump, Clinton or other boldfaced names such as former Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak, former British prime minister Tony Blair, and celebrities Mick Jagger, Michael Jackson, David Frost and Jimmy Buffett.

Rodriguez spent 18 months in prison, five months longer than Epstein served in jail.

Here's a bit more information from 13/3/2018.

Palm Beach trial could reveal details of billionaire’s alleged abuse of teen girls

According to an 82-page prosecution memo produced by the U.S. attorney’s office in Miami a decade ago, Epstein, with help from several female assistants, “would recruit underage females to travel to his home in Palm Beach to engage in lewd conduct in exchange for money . . . Some went there as much as 100 times or more. Some of the women’s conduct was limited to performing a topless or nude massage while Mr. Epstein masturbated himself. For other women, the conduct escalated to full sexual intercourse.”

But that case was shut down by then-U.S. Attorney Acosta, who in 2007 signed a non-prosecution deal in which he agreed to halt federal action against Epstein in exchange for Epstein pleading guilty to the state charge. Epstein also was required to register as a sex offender and to pay restitution to victims identified in the federal investigation.

Twitter is abuzz with calls for Acosta to step down now that this information has hit the fan. So far I haven't seen any republicans calling for it. From what I've read in the past and since Epstein's arrest it sure looks like there was plenty of evidence to have put Epstein's butt in prison for much longer than the original 18 months he received. No other person would have been allowed to leave prison for 6 days a week to go to work or receive massages when his buttocks were actually in prison.

During the FBI's search of his home they found many photos of nude women and very young girls. Doesn't look like Epstein learned anything during his brief time in prison.

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he claims he was outgunned by the criminal intent.

Such is the world of the two tiered justice system we live in.

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Not Henry Kissinger's picture

“Is the Epstein case going to cause a problem [for confirmation hearings]?” Acosta had been asked. Acosta had explained, breezily, apparently, that back in the day he’d had just one meeting on the Epstein case. He’d cut the non-prosecution deal with one of Epstein’s attorneys because he had “been told” to back off, that Epstein was above his pay grade. “I was told Epstein ‘belonged to intelligence’ and to leave it alone,” he told his interviewers in the Trump transition, who evidently thought that was a sufficient answer and went ahead and hired Acosta.

Was Epstein running a honeypot op for Brennan?

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Peace Sells

earthling1's picture

@Not Henry Kissinger
Oh, the sordid life of the filthy rich and famous.
This is what "too much money" does to people. It transforms them into sleezoid monsters.
Us plebes are truely more fortunate than we think.
The love of mammon, the destroyer of man.
IMHO.

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@earthling1 as well on 'the streets' that certainly weren't rich but would do anything to get money,it is power and that means anything because it is more important to them than anything else.

For me, and these are just two examples from many, it ranges from a guy I met in the County jail in 1967 who like me was seventeen (in Texas males are tried as an adult at 17 years of age, 18 for women) who had been sentenced to 75 years was there waiting to be transferred to a State prison farm.
He'd robbed a cabbie of six dollars then blew his brains out, and he was not the worst prisoner there by a long shot, just one with which I'd had a few interactions, I never saw any sign of remorse and the only wrong thing he felt he'd done was to get caught.

On the flip side, just like among the poor, one can find a lot of examples and it's easy because they make the news and I can find a personal story there too about a few wealthy people that managed to cheat a family that was very dear to me out of house and home.

That was long ago now every member of that family is gone but it still angers me remembering them losing their land and home (the old man had built it himself many years earlier) and spending the rest of their lives living in cheap little hovels.
I also remember hearing other people that knew this family being angry and when the discussion went to the fraudsters someone always said something to the effect that those people were very very wealthy, they didn't need the money.

I guess it was just their 'nature' like that 17 year old murderer, or the serial rapist in the isolation tank next to ours.

So what I believe is that money/power itself doesn't make people 'monsters', it just exposes who they really are down deep and it enables it to come out for all to see and/or feel.

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@Not Henry Kissinger

in your quotation is this one:

“I was told Epstein ‘belonged to intelligence’ and to leave it alone,”

It may be that all political candidates and members of Congress are surveilled and connected up with compromising activities in one way or another, in order for the CIA to be able to control them.

We are seeing in the current national scandal evidence of illegal surveillance of candidates (illegal FISA access,) and Party contractors illegally accessing Congressional communications (Imran Awan and associates.) Clearly there is Deep State spying on our supposed representatives. An actor like Epstein may be used to connect people to child sexual abuse in order to remove candidates or representatives whenever it suits the Deep State to do so. That is how he may have value to "intelligence."

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earthling1's picture

@Linda Wood
It's right out of J. Edger Hoover's playbook.

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snoopydawg's picture

@Linda Wood

I posted an essay about how Israel has been spying on the US and I bet there's a good chance that includes members of congress. AIPAC and J (?) street have way too much power over our government. If you don't do Israel's bidding then you don't get to play in congress. If you do something that they don't like you are voted out of it. Israel is the elephant in the Russia Gate farce.

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America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
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gulfgal98's picture

@Not Henry Kissinger Epstein was working for the CIA. That is the number one reason he was untouchable.

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"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~Dr. Cornel West

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." John F Kennedy

@Not Henry Kissinger

http://www.unz.com/pgiraldi/did-pedophile-jeffrey-epstein-work-for-mossad/

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snoopydawg's picture

also went to bat for Epstein in 2011, arguing that he shouldn’t be labeled a Level 3 sex offender — the worst of the worst — in part because the Florida case against him never resulted in an indictment.

Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Ruth Pickholz denied the motion and said she was “shocked” by the unusual move.

“I have never seen the prosecutor’s office do anything like this,” she said in court at the time. “I have done many [cases] much less troubling than this one where [prosecutors] would never make a downward argument like this.”

A sealed court filing obtained by The Post in April revealed that prior to the hearing, Vance’s office received a confidential state report that gave Epstein a risk-assessment score of 130 points, “solidly above the 110 qualifying number for Level 3,” with “absolutely no basis for downward departure.”

Vance’s spokesman has claimed that the DA was unaware of the move at the time, saying, “Our prosecutor made a mistake.”

Sure Vance knew nothing about that and just some lowly prosecutor decided to throw Epstein a bone all on his own.

To NHK, thanks for that information. This goes well with the video that was posted in an essay yesterday. I read an article that backed that up and will post the link to it later.

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Anja Geitz's picture

I am not following this case closely but am beyond disheartened and disgusted that yet another issue involving the degradation and abuse of women and girls (an issue that desparately needs a national discussion) has been marginalized, as usual, by a media feeding frenzy, where serious issues get squeezed through a meat grinder into bite size partisan politics sensationalism burgers.

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Play me another broken record Joe. Maybe then I'll learn why we pay twice as much for healthcare as everybody else in the world. ~ Not Henry Kissinger

snoopydawg's picture

@Anja Geitz

I have been upset from the beginning a year or so ago when I first read the Miami Herald report. That this has been made into a side show of which person should be taken down by this exposure. Not Trump or Clinton, but Epstein and the justice system that allowed the plea deal in the first place. Democrats are only writing from the side that will make Trump look bad and republicans from the side of making Clinton look bad.

The focus should be on the miscarriage of justice and how that affected the women's lives after they came forward and thought that Epstein would finally be held accountable. During the press conference the attorney pointed to Epstein's picture and asked that any other women that had been involved in this to come forward. So far two women have. The original case is at least 16 girls were involved in this, but I have seen numbers going as high as 60.

Acosta should be removed from his position as secretary of labor because his job is to oversee human trafficking as well as child labor laws... but today I learned that he is cutting his budget for that by 80%. Ugh!

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this came up on the web

Jeffrey Epstein plea deal must stand, prosecutors tell sex abuse victims

About 3 weeks ago, Trump justice dept in GA found that the deal was just fine, and told others to stay away from the case.

Suspected sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein was handed another break by the Department of Justice on Monday when federal prosecutors rejected his victims’ efforts to throw out his plea deal and prosecute him for abusing dozens of underage girls.

In the 35-page motion, filed in federal court in the Northern District of Georgia, federal prosecutors said that there is no legal basis to invalidate Epstein’s non-prosecution agreement — and they warned the federal judge in the case against doing the same.

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snoopydawg's picture

@DonMidwest

Yeah that ruling by the DOJ is just wrong. Even the judge that released the records said that it wasn't legal.

Off topic, but not really.

'Only the Tip of the Iceberg': Outrage Over Border Abuses Grows Amid Reports of Sexual Assault and Retaliation by CBP Agents

"This is trauma that will forever impact their lives."

The office of the inspector general of the Department of Homeland Security said Wednesday it was investigating allegations that border agents sexually assaulted children in at least one migrant detention center and retaliated against children who spoke out about the conditions they've been forced to live in.

In internal reports obtained by NBC News on Tuesday, a 15-year-old girl reported that a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agent had put his hands inside her bra, pulled down her underwear, and groped her during what was ostensibly a "routine pat-down," which children are reportedly subjected to in the detention centers that the Trump administration is running.

According to the allegations, the guard laughed with other staff members and spoke to them in English during the assault at a facility in Yuma, Arizona.

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there are only a couple of comments so far, but the discussion should be interesting

Room To Discuss The Epstein Case
It seems necessary to give some room to the discussion of the Epstein case. Vicky Ward, who wrote a 2002 portrait of Epstein for Vanity Fair, has a short recap of the case at the Daily Beast: Jeffrey Epstein’s Sick Story Played Out for Years in Plain Sight.

This bit from it is quite interesting:

Epstein’s name, I was told, had been raised by the Trump transition team when Alexander Acosta, the former U.S. attorney in Miami who’d infamously cut Epstein a non-prosecution plea deal back in 2007, was being interviewed for the job of labor secretary. The plea deal put a hard stop to a separate federal investigation of alleged sex crimes with minors and trafficking.
“Is the Epstein case going to cause a problem [for confirmation hearings]?” Acosta had been asked. Acosta had explained, breezily, apparently, that back in the day he’d had just one meeting on the Epstein case. He’d cut the non-prosecution deal with one of Epstein’s attorneys because he had “been told” to back off, that Epstein was above his pay grade. “I was told Epstein ‘belonged to intelligence’ and to leave it alone,” he told his interviewers in the Trump transition, who evidently thought that was a sufficient answer and went ahead and hired Acosta. (The Labor Department had no comment when asked about this.)

'Belongs to intelligence' makes a lot of sense. The question is to which one. A lot of people will says "Mossad" but I don't believe that to be the (full) truth.

https://www.moonofalabama.org/2019/07/room-to-discuss-the-epstein-case.html

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@DonMidwest from a man in Columbus OH who has been around leftist publications for years

no date on this article

lots of shady stuff with Epstein here in Columbus which was some of the earliest reporting

connections to local billionaire, CIA, airport, etc., etc.

have not seen this reported in recent material. Am trying to get the publication date of the article.

Columbus is where the torture taxi and lolita express meet.

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Deja's picture

@DonMidwest
Another wowzer article too!

It's copyrighted in 2019 (bottom of page), but might have been written in 2016? There's this:

They gleefully wonder how this will impact Hillary Clinton's latest presidential bid.

It also mentions her 2008 run, with the year named, so I think it was written after that.

I'm off to see if the author did what they said they would do, and follow up with more. Thanks for the link!

Oh, and, I'm leaning toward JE being a spook. What I can't figure out is why is he being sacrificed now? Who'd he piss off? Was it the 13 year old girl that caused Trump to ban him from Mar-a-Lago, and Trump is pushing for this?

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snoopydawg's picture

@DonMidwest

Hope people who are interested in this will read it.

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Mogul Donor Gives Harvard More Than Money Reclusive investor Epstein forges intellectual and financial connections with Universit

Jeffrey E. Epstein’s recent $30 million gift to Harvard was one in a series of donations that the elusive magnate has given anonymously to the University over the past decade.

The story behind Epstein’s deep connection with Harvard parallels his giving history, with close friendships with professors and administrators spanning the past 10 years. As an individual with no formal connection to the University, save for his donations, his Harvard ties highlight the meeting between the world of minds in the academy and the world of wallets in the business arena.

...
“I am amazed by the connections he has in the scientific world,” says Martin A. Nowak, who will leave Princeton’s Institute for Advanced Study to run the mathematical biology and evolutionary dynamics program at Harvard endowed by Epstein’s $30 million gift. “He knows an amazing number of scientists; he knows everyone you can imagine.”

Indeed, Epstein shares a special connection with one of the most prominent figures at Harvard—University President Lawrence H. Summers.

Summers and Epstein serve together on the Trilateral Commission and the Council on Foreign Relations, two elite international relations organizations.

Institute of Advanced Studies at Princeton is the holy of hollies. Even holier than Harvard.

myth of science and politics separate is shattered again

this link from an article in Rolling Stone with more tid bits

Accused Sex Trafficker Jeffrey Epstein’s Political Connections: A Guide From Donald Trump to Alan Dershowitz, billionaire Jeffrey Epstein is connected to some of the most powerful men in the country — but what did they know

Journalist and professor here in Columbus OH who wrote some of the early stories of him and local billionaire, Les Wexner, got death threats and FBI told him to take them seriously.

Epstein had many powerful people wrapped around his finger

is this an opera?

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Deja's picture

Said he picked up case because state prosecutors were "going to let him go free."

Reporter said state (FL?) prosecutors deny that statement.

Don't have a link. Literally just saw/heard it.

Also, dude has an extremely oddly shaped head. Almost as if his head has been in a literal vice for so long it grew that way.

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snoopydawg's picture

@Deja

There have been lots of articles that destroy the bunk that Acosta is trying to sell. The Florida authorities had plenty of evidence to put Epstein away as I'm betting the Feds did too. Why write out an 82 page document on his actions if they wouldn't hold up?

Did you read how Acosta is taking an axe to the budget for human trafficking and child labor enforcement? 80% from a probably already underfunded budget pretty much makes it useless.

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Deja's picture

@snoopydawg
Don't doubt it. I was just adding a comment about what I'd just witnessed him saying about why he took the case.

Hillary said she took the rapist of a 12 yr old child defense case because she was forced to, iirc. Having someone's body parts and fluids physically forced into your body, AGAINST YOUR WILL, versus being told to represent someone accused of physically forcing their own body parts into a 12 yr old child, also against their will, does not even remotely come close to being the same. She could have said no and found a more worthy firm. She chose not to, and cackled about her client's ability to fool a polygraph.

-_-

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snoopydawg's picture

@Deja

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