Published: Sun, July 14, 2019

Prosecutors: Jeffrey Epstein Paid $350,000 to ‘Silence’ Potential Witnesses

Prosecutors: Jeffrey Epstein Paid $350,000 to ‘Silence’ Potential Witnesses

US Labor Secretary Alex Acosta resigned Friday amid a backlash over Epstein's 2009 secret plea deal he negotiated while he was a Florida federal prosecutor.

The arrest set in motion a chain of events that led to the resignation Friday of Labor Secretary Alex Acosta, who was the US attorney in Miami during the earlier investigation of Epstein.

Describing Epstein's proposal of house arrest as a "gilded cage", the prosecutors noted that several victims have informed the government that "they would be fearful for their safety" if Epstein were released. He has pleaded not guilty.

Epstein, 66, pleaded not guilty this week to charges alleging he recruited and abused dozens of underage girls at his mansions in NY and Palm Beach, Florida, in the early 2000s. He is accused of wiring $350,000 past year to two associates.

The new charges have focused attention on his finances and his lofty connections. A bail hearing is scheduled for Monday morning.

The new charges prompted dozens of top Democrats, including Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, to call for Acosta's resignation from Trump's Cabinet.

Jeffrey Epstein is a suspected serial pedophile who was allowed to dodge allegations that he sexually abused some 40 girls (from mostly troubled or low-income families) with only minimal punishment. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, D-Fla.

Acosta took office as the nation's 27th labor secretary in early 2017, leading a sprawling agency that enforces more than 180 federal laws covering about 10 million employers and 125 million workers.

Epstein is charged with paying minor girls hundreds of dollars to provide "massages" that ultimately escalated into sexual encounters, and then later "encouraged or enticed" them to recruit other girls to do the same, thus maintaining "a steady supply of new victims", according to the indictment.

The case is being brought more than a decade after Epstein secretly cut a deal with prosecutors to dispose of almost identical allegations.

As the state attorney for Palm Beach County for 16 years [1993-2009] which included the entire period of the Epstein investigation, I can emphatically state that Mr. Acosta's recollection of this matter is completely wrong.

The Washington Post, in a March article published in the Journal, reported that Epstein was not required to register as a sex offender in New Mexico after his 2008 plea. During the day, he was allowed to go to his office.

Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta said Friday he's stepping down amid the tumult over his handling of the 2008 deal with Epstein.

Acosta said the Epstein case would be a distraction for the Administration. "We look forward to this occurring in a forum where there is no opportunity to get away with untruths, half-truths, evasion, and diversion".

An email seeking comment was sent to a lawyer for Epstein.

He repeated that endorsement of his performance on Friday, but admitted the questions about the Epstein deal had become a "distraction".

Trump touting Acosta as "a Hispanic man" is peak he's one of the good ones with a hearty dash of I can't be racist, some of my best friends are x. "They're investigating what occurred in Jeffrey Epstein's townhouse".

"I was involved in thousands of cases, and not all of them turn out the way you think they should, but in that case it was very weird".

Acosta's resignation is effective in seven days.

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