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Ex-Trump Official Who Gave Epstein Sweetheart Deal for Child Sex Crimes Is Excused by DOJ

A former member of Donald Trump’s presidential cabinet who notoriously cut Jeffrey Epstein a sweetheart deal in 2008 has been cleared of any wrongdoing by the Justice Department.

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A former member of Donald Trump’s presidential cabinet who notoriously cut Jeffrey Epstein a sweetheart deal in 2008 has been cleared of any wrongdoing by the Justice Department.

The investigation by the department’s Office of Professional Responsibility (DOJ-OPR) found that former Labor Secretary of Labor Alex Acosta – who served in Trump’s cabinet from 2017 until his 2019 resignation – had exercised “poor judgement” when arranging a 2008 plea deal for the disgraced financier and convicted sexual predator.

According to the Justice Department investigation whose findings were released Thursday, Acosta mishandled the case but didn’t break the law, reports NBC News.

The investigation found that Epstein’s victims “were not treated with the forthrightness and sensitivity expected by the department” under the deal arranged by Acosta, who was the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Florida at the time.

In 2019, Acosta resigned his position as head of the U.S. Department of Labor amid fallout from the Epstein case.

While serving as the top Miami prosecutor, Acosta infamously cut Epstein a non-prosecution plea deal in 2007 for charges relating to the sexual exploitation of underage girls.

Epstein had faced allegations that he sexually abused dozens of underage teen girls at his Palm Beach mansion throughout the early 2000s.

Under the agreement agreed to by Acosta – which involved him pleading guilty to state charges involving only one teenaged victim – Epstein did not face federal criminal charges and a separate federal investigation was immediately ground to a halt. The deal also sealed the indictment records.

Thanks to the plea deal, the well-connected pedophile – whose friends and associates included Donald Trump, Bill Clinton, Prince Andrew, and Bill Gates, among others – was spared a prison sentence that could have lasted several years.

While serving 13 months of his Florida jail sentence, Epstein was also granted the freedom to attend to his business affairs in his luxurious offices.

The secret deal also granted immunity to “any potential co-conspirators’’ who were also involved in Epstein’s crimes, effectively ensuring that other wealthy members of Epstein’s child rapist ring got off scot-free.

The Justice Department’s summary of the investigation noted that Acosta personally “made the pivotal decision to resolve the federal investigation of Epstein through a state-based plea and either developed or approved the terms of the initial offer to the defense that set the beginning point for the subsequent negotiations that led to the”  non-prosecution agreement (NPA).

“The NPA was a flawed mechanism for satisfying the federal interest that caused the government to open its investigation of Epstein,” the report added.

During the review, the office noted that members of Acosta’s office were concerned about “legal issues, witness credibility, and the impact of a trial on the victims” which ultimately led them to opt for the plea bargain and avoid trial.

Due to these considerations, “OPR does not find that Acosta engaged in professional misconduct by resolving the federal investigation of Epstein in the way he did or that the other subjects committed professional misconduct through their implementation of Acosta’s decisions.”

The report also noted that the former U.S. attorney’s judgment lacked transparency and left Epstein’s victims “feeling confused and ill-treated by the government.”

Victims involved in the 2008 case were briefed on the DOJ-OPR report on Thursday morning, but haven’t yet made any comment on the findings.

“Letting a well-connected billionaire get away with child rape and international sex trafficking isn’t ‘poor judgment’ – it is a disgusting failure,” said Nebraska Republican Sen. Ben Sasse in a statement. “Americans ought to be enraged.”

“Jeffrey Epstein should be rotting behind bars today, but the Justice Department failed Epstein’s victims at every turn,” Sasse added. “The DOJ’s crooked deal with Epstein effectively shut down investigations into his child sex trafficking ring and protected his co-conspirators in other states. Justice has not been served.” 

Epstein, 66, was found hanged in a lone cell in the special housing unit (SHU) of a federal prison in Manhattan while facing a potential prison sentence of up to 45 years on charges of pedophilia and sex trafficking. A city medical examiner ruled the death a suicide.

His ex-girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell is currently being held in a New York City jail over a range of allegations related to child sex trafficking, the sexual exploitation of minors, and perjury – including that she groomed girls as young as 14 for Epstein to abuse, while also participating in the abuse. She will stand trial in July 2021.

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