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Epstein pleads not guilty to sex-trafficking charges

11 July 2019

He was also out to persuade President Donald Trump to keep him on the job as Democratic presidential candidates and party leaders called for his ouster.

US President Donald Trump on Tuesday defended his Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta, who is under pressure from Democrats to resign over his handling of a decade-old sex abuse case against financier Jeffrey Epstein, but said he, too, would look into it.

Acosta's lawyerly presentation was an effort to push back against growing criticism of his work in a secret 2008 plea deal that let Epstein avoid federal prosecution on charges that he molested teenage girls.

Also calling for Acosta's resignation were many members of Democrats' huge field of presidential hopefuls.

Referring to the Labor secretary's post, Gillibrand told a reporter in Manchester, New Hampshire, that Acosta "never should have been there in the first place". "We now have 12 years of knowledge and hindsight and we live in a very different world", he said. Trump stuck by his former head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt, and his former Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, in the face of months of investigations into spending and expenses.

President Trump was pressed Tuesday about his relationship with Epstein, a man he once praised but eventually barred from his Mar a Lago resort.

Trump made no reference to the crimes that Epstein is charged with or the victims who have come forward.

"I had a falling out with him a long time ago", Trump said without elaborating. Trump did not comment on what the disagreement was about.

Acosta maintained Wednesday that he secured the best deal he could when he helped prosecute Epstein, but acknowledged the terms look lenient with the passage of time. "There were all of these puzzle pieces that were out there, and when you put all of these puzzle pieces together, with the passage of time, there was this really damning story".

Dershowitz also denied claims from Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who claims she was forced to have sex with him and other prominent Epstein associates.

"If he refuses to resign, President Trump should fire him", Schumer added.

Pelosi claimed in a tweet late on Monday that Acosta's agreement with the indicted financier was concealed from his "young courageous victims" and prevented them from seeking justice.

"I was not a fan of his, that I can tell you", Trump said.

USA prosecutors in NY accused Epstein, 66, of sex trafficking in an indictment that detailed how he lured dozens of girls, some as young as 14, to his luxury homes and coerced them into performing sex acts. In point of fact, the connection with Mr. Trump turned so toxic that Mr. Epstein at one level suggested traffic that he blamed Mr. Trump for his appropriate sort complications with the Palm Seaside County police.

"The new sex trafficking charges announced today make it agonizingly clear that former U.S. Attorney Alex Acosta failed to deliver true justice for the underage girls that Jeffrey Epstein mercilessly exploited".

It's also putting new scrutiny on Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta, who, as USA attorney for the Southern District of Florida, was involved in a secret plea deal that allowed Epstein to avoid federal charges in 2008.

"We did what we did because we wanted to see Epstein go to jail", Acosta said.

The plea deal was kept secret from Epstein's victims until his sentencing.

In February, a federal judge in Florida ruled that the Department of Justice broke the law by failing to confer with Epstein's victims about the agreement.

Epstein pleads not guilty to sex-trafficking charges