Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta told members of Trump's transition team that he was instructed to "back off" when prosecuting Jeffrey Epstein a decade ago, according to investigative reporter Vicky Ward.
Writing at The Daily Beast, Ward said she had spoken to sources that informed her that concerns about Epstein "had been raised by the Trump transition team when Alexander Acosta, the former U.S. attorney in Miami who’d infamously cut Epstein a non-prosecution plea deal back in 2007, was being interviewed for the job of labor secretary."
Acosta helped negotiate a secret plea deal with Epstein, a multi-millionaire hedge fund manager accused of sexually abusing young girls, which allowed Epstein to serve just 13 months in a county jail.
Acosta reportedly told Trump's transition team that he had been told to go easy. He told his interviewers, "I was told Epstein ‘belonged to intelligence’ and to leave it alone," according to Ward. It is unclear who was instructing Acosta.
Ward authored a lengthy profile of Epstein for Vanity Fair in 2003. But she says many of the most salacious details she uncovered were axed by editors.
"I tried to expose Jeffrey Epstein for what he is and I was silenced. Everyone who knew about Epstein was—silenced by people with more money and power and influence. Now that silence is over. It’s time for the truth to see the light," Ward wrote on Twitter.