Thursday July 11, 2019
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- This rush to condemn Labor Secretary Alex Acosta has turned the pressure up to 11. Whatever the justification for the plea deal Acosta reached with Jeffery Epstein, he cannot remain in the Cabinet.
- I don't know any more than you do about how Acosta, when he was a U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, arrived at the decision to allow Jeffery Epstein off with the lightest possible sentence on charges of sex trafficking and preying on underage girls.
- Jeffery Epstein and his pals who, if not active participants were active deniers, are scum.
- There is no argument about that.
- What the argument is about is how Acosta, as the lead federal prosecutor, came to the conclusion that part-time jail (Epstein could leave the big house for 12 hours per day) and a term of only 13 months (the mean jail time for those types of crimes is closer to just shy of six years), and having to register as a sex offender (not a big deal when you spend time on your private island to which you fly on your private airplane), was enough.
- But, Acosta was not known as a weak-kneed prosecutor.
- According to the South Florida Sun-Sentinal,
"Cases he oversaw that sent six important South Florida elected officials to prison for corruption - rock[ed] the halls of government in Broward and Palm Beach counties."
- Acosta also prosecuted Washington, DC über-lobbyist Jack Abramoff "on conspiracy and wire fraud charges. Abramoff pleaded guilty and served 43 months of a five-year, 10-month sentence."
- Finally, Acosta oversaw the prosecution of Jose Padilla who, according to NPR had been "arrested in 2002 for an alleged plot to attack the United States, has been indicted on charges related to supporting terror campaigns in Afghanistan and elsewhere."
- So, Acosta didn't walk away from tough cases.
- Acosta held a press conference to try and relieve some of the pressure which has suddenly built up regarding his handling of the original case with Epstein's arrest over the weekend.
- If you are going to hold a crisis-management press conference, it is useful to have a clear plan for what you want the headline to be coming out the other end.
- "Acosta Refuses to Apologize" to the girls who were attacked, would not be it.
- If Acosta thought making a two-cushion reference the #MeToo movement would be helpful, he was wrong. Epstein's actions weren't aimed at grown women, he is a pedophile. He preys on young girls who are absolutely defenseless.
- On why a plea deal on state charges which included an agreement not to proceed with a federal prosecution Acosta said (via CNBC.com)
"There's a big gulf between sufficient evidence to go to trial and sufficient evidence in the confidence of the outcome of that trial."
- CNBC also reported that
He said, before his federal prosecutors' office became involved in the case in the mid-2000s, a Florida state grand jury had recommended that Epstein face a single charge "which would have led to no jail at all, no registration [as a sex offender] and no restitution to the victims."
- CBS News posted: "Asked if he would make the same deal now, Acosta responded: 'We live in a very different world. Today's world treats victims very, very differently.'"
- Maybe all we know is all there is to know about Epstein's Florida case. Maybe Alex Acosta is correct that the best he was going to be able to get was what he got.
- Barry Krischer, the Palm Beach County state's attorney at the time, said Acosta "should not be allowed to rewrite history."
- Krischer wrote in a statement (via The Hill newspaper),
"If Mr. Acosta was truly concerned with the State's case and felt he had to rescue the matter, he would have moved forward with the 53-page indictment that his own office drafted."
- Alex Acosta's legacy now lies with his handling of Jeffery Epstein.
- Not a good place to be.
- On the Secret Decoder Ring Page today: Links to Epstein's private island in the U.S. Virgin Islands, to the Sun-Sentinal's coverage of Acosta's prosecutorial history, to CBS' review of Acosta's presser, and to the push back by the Palm Beach County prosecutor from The Hill.
The Mullfoto is funny, if you share my somewhat dicey sense of humor.
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