Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz said Tuesday that Labor Secretary Alex Acosta should be fired after the details of the deal he struck as a U.S. attorney with Jeffrey Epstein resurfaced following the financier’s latest arrest.
“What we’re dealing with here is the president essentially, knowingly appointed someone to be his secretary of labor, who by the way, is responsible for policing human trafficking laws, who coddled a sexual predator. Who allowed a sexual predator, Epstein, to get off without prison time, to get off without any real consequences, and finally, thanks to the Southern District of New York, there will be a case that moves forward,” the Florida Democrat and former chair of the Democratic National Committee said to CNN’s “Newsroom.”
Mr. Epstein faces one count of engaging in sex trafficking of minors and a second count of sex trafficking conspiracy. He pleaded not guilty.
While Ms. Wasserman Schultz said they are careful not to interfere with the investigation of Mr. Epstein, she said “the president should fire” Mr. Acosta, or Mr. Acosta should resign based on the qualifications of his labor secretary job.
“This is a person, again, who is responsible for the human trafficking laws, responsible for enforcing child labor laws and protecting the vulnerable from being abused and, when he was the U.S. attorney in my community, he allowed Jeffrey Epstein to get off nearly scot-free. [Jeffrey Epstein] sexually abused dozens of girls and is accused once again of that, and [Alex Acosta] is the last person on God’s green Earth that should be responsible for protecting the vulnerable in this country,” she said.
Ms. Wasserman Schultz added “we shouldn’t be surprised” Mr. Trump turned a blind eye because “the president has been accused” of sexual assault himself, all of which he has denied.
Mr. Epstein served 13 months in county jail and was allowed to leave for 16 hours a day. He also had to register as a sex offender.
• Jeff Mordock contributed to this article.
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