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Democratic lawmakers from the U.S. are demanding resignation of Labor Secretary Alex Acosta who cut sex offender Jeffery Epstein a lenient plea deal in 2008.
The U.S. Democrats are urging Labor Secretary Alex Acosta to resign for his role in cutting Jeffrey Epstein a lenient plea deal in 2008 for sexual offenses just days after Epstein was charged Monday for operating a sex trafficking ring of minors.
Epstein, a friend of former President Bill Clinton and current President Donald Trump, pleaded guilty in 2007 to a reduced felony prostitution charge in Florida and is registered as a sex offender for abusing more than 30 young girls.
His 13-month sentence enabled him to get out of the Palm Beach County Stockade six days a week to work from his office, according to the New York Times.
In February of this year, a U.S. district judge in Florida ruled that prosecutors violated the federal Crime Victims' Rights Act by not letting more than 30 identified victims know of the deal so they would have a chance to oppose it.
A U.S. Justice Department office is investigating whether government attorneys committed professional misconduct in the Epstein case. Acosta was the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida during Epstein’s case.
Acosta “must step down,” she said in a tweet 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,” she wrote, adding that Trump was aware of the deal when he appointed Acosta to his Cabinet.
White House senior adviser Kellyanne Conway told reporters Tuesday that Acosta was “doing a great job.”
She downplayed attention on his role in the case, saying the focus should be on Epstein.
Acosta’s role in the Florida deal for Epstein was raised at his confirmation hearing in the Republican-led Senate. He has served as Labor secretary since April 2017.
The Florida congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz also called for Acosta’s resignation and earlier this year pressed for an official investigation into his role during Epstein's case.
“A big part of his job is protecting workers and children from exploitation, yet he has demonstrated that he has utter disregard for victims and instead his priority is to protect sexual predators,” she said adding that congressional oversight committee is being urged to call in Acosta for questioning.
“There is strong interest among my colleagues to pursue this, it is absolutely time for us to take the next steps on holding Acosta accountable.”
Virginia Senator and Hillary Clinton’s running mate in 2016 elections, Tim Kaine wrote on Twitter, “Acosta must go. He handed a sweetheart deal to a serial sexual predator.”