When Andrew Puzder withdrew himself from consideration as Donald Trump’s secretary of labor, many were pleased to see that a man who built his fortune on misogynistic TV commercials, and who was once accused of threatening serious injury to his ex-wife, would have no role in setting America’s labor policies. As Puzder’s replacement, Trump selected Alexander Acosta, a former prosecutor and current law school dean. Certainly Acosta could not be worse than Puzder, right? Turns out, perhaps not.
As reported by Politico, when he was a prosecutor in Miami, Acosta gave a “sweetheart plea deal” to Jeffrey Epstein, the billionaire accused of engaging in sex acts with minors and other prostitution related crimes. Reports Politico: “While he was the top federal prosecutor in Miami…[Acosta] cut a sweetheart plea deal in 2008 with a billionaire investor accused of having sex with dozens of underage girls. As the U.S. attorney for Southern Florida, Acosta agreed not to file any federal charges against the wealthy financier, Jeffrey Epstein, if he pled guilty to state charges involving soliciting prostitution and soliciting a minor for prostitution.”
To add insult to injury, Acosta did not even inform Epstein’s victims about the plea deal. Two such victims were so outraged that they eventually filed suit, claiming that in not telling the victims about the plea deal, prosecutors violated the Crime Victim’s Protection Act. According to court filings by the victims’ attorney, “there is good reason to believe that if the prosecutors had exposed their dealings to scrutiny by Jane Doe 1, Jane Doe 2 and other victims, they would not have reached such a sweetheart plea deal,” reported Politico.
Acosta has since admitted that he only agreed to the plea deal after caving to pressure exerted by the billionaire Epstein and his legal team, which included celebrity attorney Alan Dershowitz and attorney turned political witch-hunter turned disgraced university official Kenneth Starr.
A weak-willed man with a history of caving to the pressure of a billionaire? Yep, sounds like the perfect man to fill a position in Trump’s administration.