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.
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"Breaking news," CNN Don Lemon alerted. "A CNN source saying that the effort to pressure Ukraine for political help alarmed John Bolton so much that the told an aide to alert White House lawyers that Giuliani was a hand grenade who will blow everyone up. And a source familiar with Fiona Hill’s testimony says the former Russia adviser told lawmakers she was she saw wrongdoing in the Ukraine policy and reported it."
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"The effort to pressure Ukraine for political help provoked a heated confrontation inside the White House last summer that so alarmed John R. Bolton, then the national security adviser, that he told an aide to alert White House lawyers, House investigators were told on Monday," the newspaper reported. "Mr. Bolton got into a sharp exchange on July 10 with Gordon D. Sondland, the Trump donor turned ambassador to the European Union, who was working with Rudolph W. Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer, to press Ukraine to investigate Democrats, according to testimony provided to the investigators."