House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) gave a full-throated rebuke of Secretary of Labor Alex Acosta on Monday evening, calling on the former U.S. Attorney to resign from his post and accusing President Trump of knowing about the deal Acosta struck with billionaire Jeffrey Epstein more than a decade ago.
.@SecretaryAcosta must step down. As US Attorney, he engaged in an unconscionable agreement w/ Jeffrey Epstein kept secret from courageous, young victims preventing them from seeking justice. This was known by @POTUS when he appointed him to the cabinet. #AcostaResign
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) July 9, 2019
Pelosi is one of the first in congressional leadership to call for the secretary’s resignation over his involvement in a deal back in 2008 when Epstein faced sex crime charges related to underage girls. Acosta was the prosecutor in the case and arranged for a sweetheart deal with Epstein that involved a 13-month prison sentence, which included a work release program so he could come and go from prison.
Acosta’s role in the unprecedentedly lenient deal is facing new scrutiny after Epstein was charged with new sex crimes on Monday, for allegedly running a sex-trafficking ring with underage girls in the early 2000s. Epstein now faces up to 45 years in prison if convicted.
Speaking from the Senate floor Tuesday morning, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) called for Acosta’s resignation, as well. He said if the labor secretary didn’t resign, Trump should “fire” him.
“It is now impossible for anyone to have confidence in Secretary Acosta’s ability to lead the Department of Labor. If he refuses to resign, President Trump should fire him,” Schumer said. “Instead of prosecuting a predator and serial sex trafficker of children, Acosta chose to let him off easy. This is not acceptable.”
Schumer joins calls for Acosta's resignation pic.twitter.com/GTZ88lAVMU
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) July 9, 2019
A few other prominent Democrats like Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) have also called on Acosta to step down.