After arrest, Epstein challenges victims in Florida court


Fallout from the shocking sex-trafficking case against billionaire Jeffrey Epstein is reaching into the Trump administration.

Top Democratic lawmakers and many Democratic candidates vying to run against Trump in the 2020 presidential election called for Acosta to step down. "At the very first party, I said, 'Who's coming tonight?"

"We will have to look at it very carefully".

Acosta told reporters that his relationship with Trump remains "outstanding", but also noted that every member of Trump's Cabinet serves at the president's pleasure. Both men eventually left the cabinet.

But whereas Mr. Trump has brushed apart the connection, Mr. Epstein, since the election, has played it up, claiming to folk that he used to be the one who presented Mr. Trump to his third associate, Melania Trump, even supposing neither of the Trumps has ever talked about Mr. Epstein playing a role of their meeting. Trump did not comment on what the disagreement was about.

Labor Sec. Alexander Acosta to resign due to his handling of sex abuse charges made against businessman Jeffrey Epstein. "As Epstein now faces a real accounting for his crimes, it's time for Acosta to be held responsible for letting Epstein elude real justice for so long", Wasserman Schultz said. She now has filed court papers seeking information from Epstein in preparation for suing him.

"With the evidence available more than a decade ago, federal prosecutors insisted that Epstein go to jail, register as a sex offender and put the world on notice that he was a sexual predator", Acosta tweeted.

"I was not a fan of his, that I can tell you", he said. And not merely because he appointed Acosta to head the Labor Department.

"If he refuses to resign, President Trump should fire him", Schumer added. "I think the feds thought it was the best they could do".

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Asked about the Epstein charges on Sunday, Trump said, "I don't know about it".

Epstein, 66, is accused of running a trafficking enterprise between 2002 and 2005, allegedly paying hundreds of dollars in cash to girls as young as 14 to have sex with him at his Upper East Side home and his estate in Palm Beach, according to the indictment.

He has pleaded not guilty, and is charged with one count of sex trafficking of minors and one count of conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking of minors.

In February, US Judge Kenneth Marra ruled that Acosta's office had broken the law by not telling Epstein's victims of the lenient deal, while US Attorney Geoffrey Berman openly called for potential accusers to contact his office to help him "build his sex-trafficking case against Epstein".

Acosta's role in the Florida deal for Epstein was raised by Democrat Tim Kaine at his confirmation hearing in the Republican-led Senate. Under the deal, he pleaded guilty to a state charge of soliciting prostitution from a minor and served 13 months in a county jail.

"This despicable unjust plea deal that was arranged by Acosta showed no respect for the suffering of the victims and credible accounts of human trafficking and was a clear abuse of power for political gain", the representatives wrote.

Epstein's filing contends the victims go too far in trying to remedy that violation by removing the plea deal's immunity provisions for other people and opening the door for Epstein to be federally prosecuted in Florida again.

The well-connected Epstein, whose friends have included Trump, former president Bill Clinton and Prince Andrew, faced similar charges in Florida a decade ago but managed to escape a stiff sentence through the plea agreement with Acosta's office.