The rumored nomination of Labor Secretary Alex Acosta as attorney general in the wake of Jeff Sessions’s firing is apparently what spurred the Miami Herald to publish a detailed 3-part series look at the sweetheart plea agreement worked out by Acosta with convicted child molester and Donald Trump’s close friend Jeffrey Epstein. The Miami Herald story resulted in a public rebuke for the story’s reporter, Julie Brown, from former White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci, who appears to have taken over as Trump’s “muscle” to attack journalists who investigate Trump and those tied to him.
Scaramucci, using typical Trump language, accused the Herald and Brown of doing “a number” on Acosta because of his “success” in the Trump administration. Scaramucci tweeted: “@SecretaryAcosta is doing a great job and obviously @realDonaldTrump likes him so time to do a number on him. This is DC: how it works. There is fake news and “planted” news. The people are tired of this. Hang in there Alex!!”
Scaramucci added, in a second tweet: “The news is 14 years old and surfacing now because @SecretaryAcosta is doing a good job. The senate looked at it and confirmed him.”
Brown fired back at Scaramucci in a tweet:
1. I’m not in D.C. and have very few D.C. connections
2. “Planted” ? Hmm. I don’t even know what that means
3. This was honest to god, shoe leather reporting & digging through dense court documents for a year. No one contacted me to do this story. No one. It was totally my idea.”
Despite allegations that Epstein sex-trafficked girls as young as 12 years old and provided them to his friends for sexual trysts, Acosta arranged for Epstein to plead guilty to relatively insignificant Florida charges of soliciting sex from a minor, in return for a non-prosecution agreement (NPA) on federal charges for Epstein and state and federal charges for Epstein’s associates and friends. Four of Epstein’s accomplices in recruiting underage females received immunity from future federal charges. Federal immunity was also granted to all of Epstein’s “potential co-conspirators.” The potential co-conspirators in the agreement were not named. Epstein’s roster of friends include some notable celebrities, including Trump; lawyer Alan Dershowitz, who, along with attorneys Kenneth Starr, Roy Black, and Guy Lewis, represented Epstein; Bill Clinton, and Prince Andrew of Britain.
Epstein’s 13-month prison sentence at the Palm Beach County Stockade permitted him to spend 12-hours a day for six days a week working at his office. Epstein had to report back to the prison, where he resided in a private cell in an unused wing of the prison. Details of Acosta’s plea agreement with Epstein were kept secret from his victims. The Herald is reporting that Epstein’s underage victims totaled at least 80. Brown interviewed 60 of them for her exposé of Acosta and Epstein. Federal court records first disclosed by WMR indicated the number of victims may be much higher, with one reference to a Jane Doe 103. The Herald’s editorial states that “Epstein, who allegedly fondled, digitally raped or sexually assaulted up to 100 Jane Does, got a sweet deal.” Federal prosecutors, apparently, interviewed 36 Epstein victims.
Read more here.
The Miami Herald is suing for sealed court records in New York that may point to Epstein’s sex crimes in other parts of the country. In 2014, the Palm Beach Daily News and the Palm Beach Post filed a suit in federal court to unseal correspondence between Epstein’s lawyers and Acosta.
The Miami Herald’s editorial board stood by Brown’s reporting in a sharply-worded November 28 editorial. The board wrote: “Alexander Acosta, who was the federal prosecutor for the Southern District of Florida at the time, is not fit to serve as attorney general of the United States. Acosta is said to be among those being considered to replace recently fired Jeff Sessions. But anyone reading the Herald’s investigations will see how Acosta’s shameful actions deem him far from qualified to be the highest law-enforcement officer in the land. Even as labor secretary, he is ethically compromised . . . When word finally reached Palm Beach police of Epstein’s criminal behavior, Acosta bent over backwards, at the request—then the insistence—of Epstein’s high-powered lawyers, to ensure the millionaire, then 54, received minimum jail time and even less publicity. Worse, Acosta appears to have violated federal law by keeping the deal a secret. Epstein’s young victims were never notified of the agreement. Therefore, they never had a chance to challenge it in front of a judge.”
Court and FBI records also indicate that Epstein flew underage girls around the country and the world on his private aircraft. Epstein hosted a number of sex orgies at his Manhattan and Palm Beach residences, his private Little Saint James Island in the U.S. Virgin Islands, and his ranch in New Mexico.
Previously published in the Wayne Madsen Report.
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Wayne Madsen is a Washington, DC-based investigative journalist and nationally-distributed columnist. He is the editor and publisher of the Wayne Madsen Report (subscription required).