The Justice Department found the 2008 non-prosecution deal with Epstein – which saw him skate almost entirely on charges of allegedly grooming and assaulting dozens of underage girls – to be dodgy but legal, a Thursday news release confirmed, stating that the federal prosecutor (later Trump’s labor secretary) who had had handed down the non-prosecution had merely made a “poor judgment.”
The ruling was met with something less than enthusiasm from Americans who’d been tracking the case. “Letting a well-connected billionaire get away with child rape and international sex trafficking isn’t ‘poor judgment’,” Republican congressman Ben Sasse (Nebraska) argued, calling the ruling “a disgusting failure.”
The Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR), which looked into the decision of Florida authorities to essentially let the notorious sex trafficker off with a slap on the wrist, declared it was within the scope of former Trump labor secretary Alex Acosta’s authority to “[make] the pivotal decision to resolve the federal investigation of Epstein through a state-based plea” and set the terms of the deal that so many have objected to upon learning of it in recent years.
While the OPR “did not find evidence that his decision was based on corruption or other impermissible considerations, such as Epstein’s wealth, status, or associations,” the body did find it represented “poor judgment,” calling the non-prosecution agreement a “flawed mechanism” for satisfying the investigation.
Acosta has long declined to speak about his decision to avoid prosecuting Epstein, implying as the wealthy pedophile came back into the public eye last year that the situation was above his pay grade and Epstein “belonged to intelligence.” The then-US Attorney General for Florida’s Southern District was allegedly told to “leave it alone,” he told Trump administration officials while he was being interviewed for a possible position in the administration. He was ultimately forced to resign as labor secretary after his role in the Epstein scandal became public knowledge.
The OPR acknowledged Acosta’s actions failed to meet public demand regarding Epstein, admitting that “the victims were not treated with the forthrightness and sensitivity expected by the department.” Acosta echoed its conclusions, releasing his own statement praising the conclusions for fully “debunk[ing] allegations that the US [Attorney’s Office] improperly cut Epstein a ‘sweet-heart deal’ or purposefully avoided investigating potential wrongdoing.”
However, federal authorities had put together a comprehensive case against the convicted sex offender in the weeks before he supposedly killed himself in a Manhattan jail cell last year, suggesting there was some substance to the allegations that had been leveled against him more than a decade after he was first dragged into court. Epstein’s supposed partner-in-crime Ghislaine Maxwell is currently incarcerated awaiting trial on sex-trafficking and perjury charges.
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