Top Dems demand Acosta resign over Epstein deal

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on July 9, 2019 - Duration: 02:43s

Top Dems demand Acosta resign over Epstein deal

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called for President Donald Trump's Labor secretary, Alexander Acosta, to resign amid renewed concerns over his handling of sex abuse charges involving wealthy U.S. financier Jeffrey Epstein.

Yahaira Jacquez reports.

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Top Dems demand Acosta resign over Epstein deal

(SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) SENATE MINORITY LEADER CHUCK SCHUMER SAYING: "I am calling on Secretary Acosta to resign." Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer on Tuesday joined a growing list of lawmakers urging President Donald Trump's Labor Secretary to step down over his handling of the Jeffrey Epstein case while U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Florida.

(SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) SENATE MINORITY LEADER CHUCK SCHUMER SAYING: "It is now impossible for anyone to have confidence in Sec.

Acosta's ability to lead the Dept.

Of Labor.

If he refuses to resign, Trump should fire him." The Democratic Senator joins House Speaker Nancy Pelosi - who said Alexander Acosta struck an 'unconscionable agreement' with Epstein, who now faces sex trafficking charges.

(SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) US ATTORNEY GEOFFREY BERMAN SAYING; "The victims, all underage girls at the time were given hundreds of dollars in cash after each encounter." In 2008 - the former hedge fund manager - faced a potential federal indictment for sexually abusing dozens of girls but struck a deal to plead guilty to a lesser Florida state prostitution charge and register as a sex offender.

Under the federal charges, Epstein could have faced life in prison.

But after the deal, he served 13 months in jail.

Prosecutors who helped craft the deal included Acosta… who the White House on Tuesday defended against calls by Pelosi and others for him to step down.

(SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) KELLYANNE CONWAY, COUNSELOR TO THE PRESIDENT SAYING: "It's classic, her and her Democratic party to not focus on the perpetrator at hand and instead on a member of the Trump Administration." On Monday Epstein pleaded not guilty TO CHARGES THAT HE LURED dozens of girls as young as 14 to his luxury homes in Florida and New York City, where in a search over the weekend, prosecutors said they found hundreds - perhaps thousands of nude photographs of 'what appeared to be underaged girls.'

The 66 year old was known to socialize with some of the most powerful in politics and business, including President Donald Trump.

But when questioned about the president's relationship with Epstein, Kellyanne Conway said this: (SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) KELLYANNE CONWAY, COUNSELOR TO THE PRESIDENT SAYING: "I talked to the president this morning.

He hasn't talked or had contact with Epstein for years and years - a decade, he said." Also distancing himself from the wealthy financier… former president Bill Clinton, whose spokesperson said Clinton "knows nothing about the terrible crimes Epstein pleaded guilty to in Florida." Epstein's bail hearing is set for July 11.

He faces up to 45 years in prison if convicted.

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