Labor Secretary Alex Acosta is facing calls for his resignation over his handling of the first Jeffrey Epstein child sex trafficking case when he was a federal prosecutor, following Epstein’s arrest over the weekend for allegedly trafficking dozens of children for sex in New York and Florida.
In 2008, Acosta, who was then the U.S. Attorney in Miami, cut a deal which gave Epstein immunity and 18 months in prison (of which he ultimately served 13) for crimes that could have seen him imprisoned for life. Given this history, you’d think Acosta might be inclined to use his current position to help victims of the same crime. Guess again!
The Guardian reported on Wednesday that Acosta is proposing a whopping 80 percent cut to the International Labor Affairs Bureau, an agency of the Labor department whose mission is to “promote a fair global playing field for workers in the United States and around the world by enforcing trade commitments, strengthening labor standards, and combating international child labor, forced labor, and human trafficking.”
Per the Guardian, the cut would slash funds from around $68 million currently to $18.5 million. “A huge cut of this sort is bound to expose children to more risk of sexual trafficking,” Loyola Law School professor Kathleen Kim told the Guardian. She later added of Acosta: “He should step down.”
Rep. Katherine Clark, a Massachusetts Democrat who took Acosta to task for his role in the Epstein case back in April, told the Guardian that Acosta’s lack of concern for child sex trafficking victims was “now a pattern.”
Despite calls for Acosta to step down, he has thus far refused, claiming that his deal with Epstein “put the world on notice that he was a sexual predator.”
He’s enjoyed the support of President Trump, a onetime Epstein pal who said on Tuesday that he feels “very badly” for Acosta. But on Tuesday night, Trump confidante and Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy told CNN that Acosta’s days might be numbered.
“I think the plea agreement he did is indefensible,” Ruddy told Don Lemon. “I think that he is not going to stay for long.”