Alex Acosta Insists He Still Has Support from Trump and Mick Mulvaney

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The charges stated that from at least, in, or, about 2002 up to at least, in, or about 2005, Epstein "caused to be enticed and recruited minor girls to visit his mansion in Manhattan, New York and his estate in Palm Beach, Florida, to engage in sex acts with him, after which he would give the victims hundreds of dollars in cash".

In 2008, Epstein was indicted on multiple sex-related charges by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida. His lawyers said in court that the allegations in the indictment couldn't amount to statutory rape because there was no penetration.

Epstein, a well-connected financier whose friends have included President Donald Trump and former president Bill Clinton, was convicted previously of paying young girls for sexual massages at his Palm Beach mansion.

Referring to "hard to watch" victim interviews, Acosta cited an affidavit from one of the prosecutors in his office at the time that questioned the wisdom of putting Epstein's victims on the witness stand based on now-outdated norms concerning the treatment of accusers.

Some girls were also allegedly brought to Epstein's homes in New York City, New Mexico and a private Caribbean island, according to court documents.

Eleven years after letting Jeffrey Epstein off lightly with a once-secret plea deal, the US government is taking another run at putting the wealthy businessman behind bars with new sex-trafficking charges that law enforcement officials say involve allegations dating to the early 2000s.

As we note often in response to news of arrests and criminal charges filed against defendants, Epstein is considered innocent until proven guilty by our criminal justice system - or until such time as he may wish to enter a plea in connection with any of the charges filed against him. He is being criticized for his part in a secret 2008 plea deal that let Epstein avoid federal prosecution on charges that he molested teenage girls.

The latest indictment was unsealed Monday morning, hours before Epstein is due in court in Manhattan.

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"I've known Jeff (Epstein) for 15 years". He said he was just extra careful, sending them in an even more confidential manner than Darroch because he "knew nothing would remain secret". "No doubt about it - Jeffrey enjoys his social life", he said. "He's not spoken to Epstein in well over a decade".

Federal prosecutors in NY allegethe politically connected financier, who has socialized with Donald Trump, former President Bill Clinton and Britain's Prince Andrew, sexually abused dozens of minors and paid his victims to recruit others, allowing him to build a vast network of girls to exploit. He served a 13-month sentence in county jail, during which he was allowed to leave during the day to go to his office. The decision now is fiercely criticized as too lenient. Berman, the USA attorney, said he was not bound by it.

The 66-year-old is expected to plead not guilty to the charges. Acosta was the US attorney in Miami when Epstein's 2008 plea deal. In 2007, he received a sweetheart plea deal from Alexander Acosta, then U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and now the U.S. Secretary of Labor.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Labor on Sunday declined to comment on Epstein's arrest.

Trump has attempted to distance himself from Epstein, saying he hasn't talked to him in 15 years.

Eventually, the Federal Bureau of Investigation gathered affidavits from 36 girls who claimed to have been sexually molested by Epstein. "I think he wanted a ride back to New York, " Mark Epstein said. Instead, he pleaded guilty to two prostitution charges, spent 13 months at a Palm Beach jail and registered as a sex offender. Even so, the Department of Justice said in a June court filing that there was no reason to cancel it. On Wednesday, Democratic House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings invited Acosta to testify before the committee in a hearing to "examine [his] actions" in negotiating Epstein's non-prosecution agreement.

"My relationship with the president is outstanding", Acosta said.

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