Adding:Oversight chair calls on Acosta to testify amid Epstein scrutiny
The head of the House Oversight and Reform Committee is asking Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta to testify amid scrutiny over his role overseeing a non-prosecution agreement for Jeffrey Epstein, who has been charged in a sex trafficking case.
Oversight Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) and Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), who leads the panel's Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, sent a letter to Acosta inviting him to testify on July 23 about his "prosecution agreement" for Epstein from his time serving as the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida.
Under the agreement reached in 2008, Epstein spent 13 months in county jail. The Miami Herald reported on details of the case in an investigative series published last fall.
Earlier this month, federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York unsealed a fresh indictment that detailed a series of new charges against Epstein, a billionaire financier with various political ties.
The indictment alleges that between 2002 to 2005 he created “a network and operation enabling him to sexually exploit and abuse dozens of underage girls,” and that he then also paid these victims cash to then recruit other underage girls for "sexual encounters." Prosecutors also claim Epstein knew these girls were underaged.
"Your testimony is even more critical now that federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York unsealed a new indictment earlier this week outlining a host of additional charges against Mr. Epstein, including luring dozens of teenage girls to his homes in New York City and Palm Beach, Florida, and paying them to engage in sexual activity with him,” Cummings wrote, referring to Acosta.
Daily Beast: Acosta, Who Cut Deal With Epstein, Tried to Slash Anti-Trafficking Program by 80 Percent
His proposal came under fire at the time from a congresswoman who noted his sweetheart deal with accused trafficker Jeffrey Epstein.