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Donald Trump defends Alex Acosta as fallout from Jeffrey Epstein case spreads

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Update time : 2019-11-18 00:03:41

Donald Trump’s labour secretary is facing mounting calls ought resign above his role at the decade-long saga of accused sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, though powerful men along America scrambled ought distance themselves from the financier.

Alex Acosta was the US attorney though Southern Florida when, at 2008, he agreed ought a non-prosecution work aggressively pushed by Epstein’s high-powered legal team.

Epstein, 66, was accused of procuring girls though youthful though 14 ought shout on his mansion, and paying them ought fulfill massages, which then turned into sexual acts.

Epstein pleaded criminal ought a status blame of soliciting prostitution, paid a fine, registered though a sexual predator and served 13 months of an 18-month sentence. Much of the judge was spent at Epstein’s Palm bank office, below a work-release programme. no federal charges were filed.

Epstein’s capture above Saturday, and his satisfy at gymnasium at New York above Monday, dine shone an uncomfortable spotlight above Mr Acosta’s role at the story.

On Tuesday Mr Trump praised his labour secretary’s record at the White House, and defended the embattled cabinet member – one of the little who has been at his role from the beginning.

"What happened with respect ought 12 or 13 years ago - you know, if you proceed undergo and appear at everybody's decisions, I used to reflect you used to maybe discover they desire they did it at a different way,” said Mr Trump.

“I reflect there were a destiny of nation at that site no just him. We'll dine ought appear same carefully besides it was a decision made I reflect no by him besides a destiny of people."

Mr Acosta insists that his work ensured that Epstein faced a degree of punishment.

"The crimes committed by Epstein are horrific, and I am pleased that NY prosecutors are moving deliver with a example based above new evidence," tweeted Mr Acosta.

"With the proof available more than a decade ago, federal prosecutors insisted that Epstein proceed ought jail, register though a sex offender and place the dirt above mind that he was a sexual predator," he continued.

"Now that new proof and additional evidence is available, the NY prosecution offers an significant happen ought more fully bring him ought justice."

Kellyanne Conway, Mr Trump’s senior advisor, also sprang ought his defence, saying: “I desire we’re complete paying attention ought who the accurate perpetrator is here.”

But the Democrats dine seized above Mr Acosta’s involvement, and both Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the House, and Chuck Schumer, chief of the Senate, dine called though him ought resign.

They request that the 2008 work was made without out informing Epstein’s accusers – a legal requirement. A sequence of articles at the Miami Herald at November led ought gymnasium challenges ought the work Mr Acosta brokered.

“@SecretaryAcosta get ought step down,” said Mrs Pelosi.

“As US Attorney, he engaged at an unconscionable treaty w/ Jeffrey Epstein kept secret from courageous, youthful victims preventing them from seeking justice. This was known by @POTUS when he appointed him ought the cabinet. #AcostaResign”

Mr Schumer went further, demanding that Mr Trump explain though his get friendship with Epstein. at 2002 Mr Trump was asked around Epstein though a New York journal profile, and was reported though responding: “I’ve known Jeff though fifteen years. horrible guy. He’s a destiny of joy ought exist with. It is flat said that he likes beautiful women though much though I do, and many of them are above the younger side. no supicion around it — Jeffrey enjoys his social life.”

Mr Schumer said: “The headmaster needs ought retort though his relationship with Epstein. Epstein was reportedly a usual at the Mar-a-Lago club. ‘I don’t remember is no an acceptable retort at this case’, specially given that Mr Trump appointed Mr Acosta.”

Mr Trump is attempting ought distance himself from Epstein, saying above Tuesday: "I knew him similar everyone at Palm bank knew him. I had a falling out with him a wish time ago, maybe 15 years ago. I was no a fan of his I can speak you.”

Alan Garten, a attorney though the Trump Organization, has said Mr Trump had “no relationship” with Epstein.

Mrs Conway insisted that Mr Trump was unaware of the scandal and called the allegations “disgusting”.

“I talked ought the headmaster this morning,” she said. “He hasn't talked or had satisfy with Epstein at years and years and years — and above a decade at least, he said.

“And he, similar everyone else, sees these charges, the explanation of these charges against Epstein, though completely unconscionable and obviously criminal. Disgusting, really.”

Epstein’s address book, published by the website Gawker at 2015, listed Mr Trump’s satisfy data alongside that of hundreds of other people, including preceding headmaster Bill Clinton and Prince Andrew.

On Monday evening Mr Clinton issued a statement saying he had taken four trips above the billionaire’s personal plane, and made “one concise visit” ought Epstein’s family at New York - alongside a “staff member and his security detail” - at 2002.

The $56 million (£45m) property, one of the largest personal homes at Manhattan, featured photos of Woody Allen and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia above the wall, except photos of Epstein with Mr Clinton.

The two men also met at Clinton’s Harlem office “around the same time” though the accommodation visit, the statement said.

"President Clinton knows nothing around the awful crimes Jeffrey Epstein pleaded criminal ought at Florida some years ago, or those with which he has been recently charged at New York," said Angel Ureña, Mr Clinton’s spokesman.

The statement did no mention that a preceding charity of Epstein’s, the C.O.U.Q. Foundation, donated $25,000 ought Bill and Hillary Clinton’s charity at 2006 and was recently listed among past and gift donors above the Clinton Foundation’s website.