Rep. Stacey Plaskett said Tuesday she will donate campaign contributions she received from Jeffrey Epstein, who is charged with child sex trafficking.
Ms. Plaskett, Virgin Islands Democrat, told CNBC that she intends to give away the money to organizations in her district that work with women and children.
The decision is a reversal of statements she made Monday when she said it was unlikely she would return the money despite Mr. Epstein’s arrest Saturday.
“My litmus test for accepting campaign contributions has been based on whether the donor’s money was made legally or by ill-gotten means and that the contributor will not ask of me or my Congressional office any special favors,” Ms. Plaskett said. “All of my contributions have passed that test. In this case, however, I am uncomfortable having received money from someone who has been accused of these egregious actions multiple times.”
Democrats and others slammed Ms. Plaskett for saying she would keep the money and called upon her to donate it to organizations that combat sexual abuse.
Mr. Epstein, who owns a private home in the Virgin Islands, donated $2,700 to Ms. Plaskett’s reelection bid 2018. He also wrote two separate checks totaling $2,700 for Ms. Plaskett in 2016, according to Federal Election Commission records.
Mr. Epstein pleaded not guilty to the sex trafficking charges Monday.
It is not immediately known if Mr. Epstein donated to other candidates. In 2018, he wrote a check for $10,000 to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which said it immediately returned it.
• Jeff Mordock can be reached at email@example.com.
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