Posts tagged with "Sex offender"

Out of office message: Labor Secretary Alex Acosta resigns

July 15, 2019

Labor Secretary Alex Acosta said in a press conference on July 12 that he would resign, amid controversy over a hush-hush plea deal that he and his staff made with billionaire financier Jeffrey Epstein in 2008, while Acosta was U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Florida.

According to criminal justice sources in the Sunshine State, there was sufficient evidence at that time to prosecute Epstein for sexual assault against dozens of underage girls, but instead Acosta prearranged a pact with the alleged offender—and did not provide details of the settlement to complainants in the case.

Details of the slimy deal—which allowed Epstein to register as a sex offender, but to work in his office six days a week and only to sleep in jail for 13 months—resurfaced on July 6; when the politically connected Epstein, whose friends in high places have included Donald Trump and former President Bill Clinton, was arrested again on sex trafficking charges after he returned from France by private plane to the New York City metropolitan area.

Following the arrest, those same sources accused Acosta of “rewriting history” when he stated, “Now that new evidence and additional testimony is available, the [Southern District of] New York prosecution offers an important opportunity to more fully bring him to justice.”

As the story continued to garner headlines and outrage in the days after Epstein was taken into custody, President Trump remained steadfast in his support of his Labor Secretary, but leading Democratic presidential candidates, including Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren-—as well as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer—demanded that Acosta quit.

Acosta finally made the announcement on Friday morning to reporters while standing next to the president outside the White House, according to a report by CNBC. Trump said that Acosta had called him that morning, and that it was Acosta’s decision to quit.

“This was him, not me, because I’m with him,” Trump said in a lengthy exchange with the press before departing the White House en route to events in Wisconsin and Ohio, said CNBC. “I said, ‘You don’t have to do this.’”

Acosta told reporters that he did not want his involvement in Epstein’s controversy to overshadow the administration’s accomplishments. Acosta said he will officially resign a week after his announcement; Deputy Labor Secretary Patrick Pizzella will take his place in an acting capacity, Trump said.

According to the CNBC report, Epstein is accused of luring dozens of underage girls to his Manhattan mansion to give him massages that escalated into sex acts. He is charged in New York with one count of sex trafficking of minors and one count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of minors.

Epstein had long been under investigation by both federal and local law enforcement for sex crimes against underage girls that took place from 2002 to 2005 in New York and Florida.

Research contact: @CNBC

NY Times: 28 women were recruited to ‘party’ with just Trump and Epstein in 1992 at Mar-a-Lago Club

July 11, 2019

Before Donald Trump purchased Mar-a-Lago in 1985—and converted the 20-acre property in Palm Beach into a posh, private club that opened in 1995—he held a very hush-hush, exclusive party at the estate in 1992, according to a July 9 report by The New York Times.

The event was attended by just Trump and his then-friend New York financier Jeffrey Epstein—as well as 28 beautiful women, flown in just for the occasion.

Florida businessman George Houraney told the Times that he was the one who fulfilled Trump’s request for a “calendar girl competition.”

“I arranged to have some contestants fly in,” Houraney told the Times in an interview. “At the very first party, I said, ‘Who’s coming tonight? I have 28 girls coming.’ It was him and Epstein.”

Houraney, who previously had partnered with Trump to host events at his casinos, said he was surprised. “I said, ‘Donald, this is supposed to be a party with V.I.P.s. You’re telling me it’s you and Epstein?’”

The businessman recalls, “I said, ‘Look, Donald, I know Jeff really well, I can’t have him going after younger girls.’ ”

Houraney told Trump that he had “pretty much had to ban Jeff from my events” but said “Trump didn’t care about that.” 

What happened at that party can only be the subject of conjecture; however, since then, Epstein has been registered as a sex offender; has spent some nights in jail in Florida after cutting a deal with then-U.S. Attorney (and now Secretary of Labor) Alex Acosta; and has this past weekend been indicted on sex trafficking charges by the Southern District of New York.

While the Times said that Trump had not responded to a request for comment earlier this week, the president talked to the media from his desk in the Oval Office—distancing himself Epstein. Back in the 1990s, the president said that he “knew [Epstein] like everybody in Palm Beach knew him.”

But Trump added: “I had a falling out with him. I haven’t spoken to him in 15 years. I was not a fan of his, that I can tell you.”

However, the Times pointed out, while the president has dismissed the relationship, Epstein has played it up since the election—claiming that he was the one who introduced Trump to his third wife, Melania.

Since the indictment , the news outlet reported, decades’ worth of rich and powerful friends of Epstein—including former President Bill Clinton—“have been running for the hills.”

Former President Bill Clinton released a statement on his relationship with the disgraced financier.

Epstein has been accused of trafficking dozens, maybe hundreds, of young teenage girls over the years—sending them across state lines for sex with him and his clients. His main accuser says she was 14 and wearing braces at the time she was approached by Epstein.

Research contact: @nytimes