Former Palm Beach attorney has accused Labor Secretary Alex Acosta of mediating a & # 39; secret deal & # 39; and & # 39; rewriting history & # 39; after Acosta defended his role in Jeffrey Epstein's controversial plea ten years ago.
Barry Krischer issued a statement saying that Acosta in & # 39; secret negotiations & # 39; had been with Esptein's lawyers and that the & # 39; unusual & # 39; the sex offender's plea had nothing to do with the prosecutors in Florida.
Responding to Acosta & # 39; s high-stakes press conference yesterday, in which he wanted to blame the state for shortcomings, Krischer said that Acosta & # 39; s & # 39; reminder of the matter is completely wrong & # 39 ;.
He added that the prosecutor's office played no role in the & # 39; Non-Prosecution Treaty and the unusual confidentiality agreement that kept everything hidden from the victims & # 39 ;.
Labor secretary Alexander Acosta pushed back on Wednesday for calls for his resignation and defended a secret plea that his then office in Florida made a decade ago with financier Jeffrey Epstein, who was slapped on the wrist for abusing teenage girls and is now being arrested in New York for the same violation
Jeffrey Epstein & # 39; s deal in Florida included 18 months of imprisonment, but he was allowed to come and go on the job during the day, an Acosta benefit called & # 39; B.S. & # 39;
Krischer wrote: & # 39; If Mr. Acosta was really worried about the state's case and thought he needed to save the case, he would have proceeded with the 53-page indictment of his own office prepared.
& # 39; Instead, Mr. Acosta mediated a secret plea agreement that resulted in a Non-Indictment Agreement in violation of the Crime Victims Act. & # 39;
With his job as a Trump cabinet member at stake after federal prosecutors in New York accused Epstein of sex trafficking in young girls, Acosta took question from reporters about the decision-making process that gave Epstein what critics a & # 39; sweetheart deal & # 39;
Acosta said it was crucial when he negotiated the deal to & # 39; notice the world that he was and is a sexual predator. and that Epstein goes to jail, whatever he did.
Under the terms of that deal, Epstein had to register as a sex offender – although he only served 13 months and was able to get out of jail six days a week after being released into his own office.
Acosta defended the team of career lawyers who worked on the case, while he was the highest federal public prosecutor in Miami who led the deal in 2008. He put the blame on the authorities in Palm Beach and the Florida officials who held the Epstein offense, pointed the finger at Epstein's all-star legal team.
& # 39; Facts are important and facts are overlooked & # 39 ;, said Acosta, who asked questions for 53 minutes during a press conference that he said he decided to set the record straight.
He explicitly refused to apologize to the victims, although he repeatedly expressed sympathy for what they had experienced years ago, and urged all other Epstein victims to appear.
He dismissed 2008 as a time when witnesses during the trial & # 39; victim of shame & # 39; would become.
& # 39; Times have changed and reporting on this case has definitely changed since that article & # 39 ;, he said after reading a report of a story about Epstein & # 39; s original guilty plea.
When asked if he would reach the same agreement today, Acosta said: & # 39; These questions are always very difficult. Because we now have 12 years of knowledge and afterwards and we live in a completely different world. Today's world treats victims very, very differently. Today's world does not allow some of the shocking victims that would have occurred 12 years ago. Today's world understands that when interviewing victims, provoking testimonies, that testimony can sometimes be contradictory, that memories are difficult. And so I don't think we can say, you know, take a case that old and fully know how it would turn out today. & # 39;
& # 39; I am here to say that we did what we did because we wanted to see Epstein go to jail. He had to go to jail. He had to go to jail. And that was the focus. & # 39;
& # 39; In our hearts we tried to do the right thing for these victims & # 39 ;, Acosta said about prosecutors.
& # 39; Without the work of our prosecutors, Epstein would have just received that state complaint. He was and is a sexual predator, & he said.
Acosta said he was happy that New York prosecutors were chasing after Epstein – although those prosecutors quoted media reports that cataloged the injustices of Epstein & # 39; s case as informative for their work.
& # 39; He's a bad man and needs to be put away, & # 39; said Acosta.
And he defended his relationship with President Trump. & # 39; My relationship with the president is excellent, & # 39; he said when asked. Allegedly he did the press conference at the insistence of President Trump.
& # 39; I serve to the satisfaction of the President, & # 39; he said. & # 39; If at some point he says: & # 39; Look, you are not the right person for this now or you stand in the way & # 39 ;, I respect that, & # 39; he added.
He also mentioned that Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney has still ensured that he continues to serve. He said that Mulvaney called on Wednesday morning to tell him they were not having a good relationship & # 39; in his words & # 39 ;, B.S. & # 39;
But he avoided a question from DailyMail.com about whether he was aware of alleged obstruction of justice by Epstein, including alleged tampering with witnesses, and why he would be able to close the deal he had made if he had harassed or tampered with witnesses, as New York prosecutors claim he did.
& # 39; I cannot comment on the New York case, that would not be appropriate & # 39 ;, Acosta responded and went on.
But when a follow-up question was printed about whether Epstein obstructed justice in Florida, Acosta focused his remarks on the latest prosecution in New York. & # 39; A case is pending in New York. I can't comment, & he said.
He also disputed a question as to whether Epstein's money and influence – he is depicted socializing with Donald Trump and former President Bill Clinton – had influenced his treatment by prosecutors.
& # 39; No appeal to the main course changed the terms of the deal, Acosta.
Acosta was asked why the FBI did not continue to investigate alone, with dozens of young girls who have now come forward to say that they have been harassed by Epstein.
& # 39; So the victims that we were aware of were part of this, and under the agreement in the southern district of Florida, the investigation stopped and they had the option of civilian action. That does not mean that the investigation must be stopped nationally, and as we see today, as we saw in New York, investigations could certainly have continued in other districts, & he said.
Acosta avoided answering a reporter's question about whether he agreed in 2007 to a flexible pedophile advocate agreement for Jeffrey Epstein because he was told that the financier was a spy.
According to The Daily Beast, when President Donald Trump's transition team had screened Acosta for the post of the highest employment office, he was asked about the deal and replied that he & # 39; told & # 39; was that he had to take it easy.
Acosta said according to the source of one source that & # 39; he was told that Epstein & # 39; belonged to the intelligence & # 39; and that he left it alone. & # 39;
During a press conference on Wednesday afternoon, he avoided a specific question as to whether that version of the events was true.
& # 39; Were you ever warned in your handling of this case & # 39 ;, a reporter asked Acosta, & # 39; that Mr. Epstein was some kind of intelligence tool? & # 39;
Acosta has neither confirmed nor denied it.
& # 39; That effect has been reported, & # 39; he said. & # 39; And let me say that many effects have been reported in this case, not just now, but over the years. And again I would hesitate to take this report as fact. & # 39;
& # 39; This was a matter brought to us by our office & # 39 ;, he said about his then position as the highest federal prosecutor in Florida. & # 39; It was based on the facts. & # 39;
& # 39; And I look at the report and others, I cannot address it directly because of our guidelines, but I can tell you that many reports end up in rabbit cages. & # 39;
In addition to asking questions about his behavior for almost an hour, Acosta has issued documents to support decisions regarding the non-prosecution agreement.
One was a statement by A. Marie Villafana, an assistant lawyer in the United States who worked on the Epstein case. She describes the victim letters she has prepared. She described communication with the lawyer for & # 39; Jane Doe 2 & # 39 ;, who told her that his client wanted immunity and intended to submit the fifth amendment.
She said she & # 39; expressed concern & # 39; about whether the lawyer, James Eisenberg, had a conflict of interest because his & # 39; fees were paid by Jeffrey Epstein, the target of the investigation. & # 39;
Another document, a letter from 2007, delivered by Fax to Kenneth Starr, one of Epstein's powerhouse lawyers, refers to just a few of Epstein's massive legal battle.
According to Acosta, Starr complained about elements of the non-prosecution transaction that his own legal team had raised. & # 39; I invite you to discuss this issue with your fellow member & # 39 ;, he writes at some point.
& # 39; You are concerned about the selection process for the lawyer representative & # 39 ;, he writes. & # 39; As you may know, the suggestion that we appoint a proxy as a lawyer comes from a counselor & # 39 ;, he tells Bill Clinton's former independent adviser.
Acosta notes that another lawyer had indicated his desire to appeal … to the Attorney General, the Deputy Attorney General or the Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Department. But instead, Epstein's legal team decided to negotiate the terms of the deal.
Acosta recorded a letter that he wrote to Kenneth Starr, one of Epstein's eight high-powered lawyers at the time
He then names the series of expensive lawyers: Starr, & # 39; Professor Alan Dershowitz, former US lawyer, Guy Lewis, Mrs. Lilly Ann Sanchez, and Mr. Roy Black, Mr. Jack Goldberger, Mr. Gerry Lefcourt, and Mr. Jay Lefkowitz. ;
Acosta also mentions a & # 39; 11th hour & # 39; appeal to & # 39; Washington & # 39; that took place among experts in the Criminal Division.
& # 39; I am therefore surprised to read a letter that is addressed to the department headquarters and that raises issues that have not been addressed or raised with this office before, and that benefit your client solved & # 39 ;, he wrote.
He also said that he & # 39; distressed & # 39; was due to the & # 39; apparent lack of finality in the agreement & # 39 ;.
& # 39; The [assistant attorneys in the US] who have negotiated with counsel have been complaining to me about the tactics of the defense team for some time. It seems to them that as soon as a resolution on an issue has been reached, counsel finds ways to challenge the resolution collaterally. & # 39;
He also writes in a footnote to Starr that & # 39; it is not clear from your letter whether you think lawyers in this office have acted incorrectly & # 39; – something that he considered a & # 39; very serious allegation & # 39; regards.
TIME OF JEFFREY EPSTEIN LEGAL PROBLEMS
1999-2002 – Virginia Roberts [Jane Doe # 3] claims to have served as a & # 39; sex slave & # 39; for Jeffrey Epstein and was obliged to participate in sexual activities with him and some of his high-profile friends.
March 2005 – Florida authorities are launching a probe in Epstein after a mother calls and claims that her daughter has been molested on his Palm Beach estate.
May 2006 – A statement of the probable cause is filed by the Palm Beach police after the investigation of sexual batteries against Epstein, Sarah Kellen and Haley Robson, sworn. It calculates Epstein with four counts of immoral and lustful behavior for illegal sex with a minor. Five victims and seventeen witnesses were interviewed and claimed that Epstein was engaged in illegal sexual behavior. Meanwhile, Sworn was accused of taking advantage of offering young girls to Epstein, while Kellen was responsible for keeping a black book with the names and contact details of these minors in her capacity as Epstein's assistant.
May 2006 – Barry Krischer, the prosecutor in Palm Beach, referred the case to a grand jury.
June 2006 – The grand jury gives a charge against one count of the request for prostitution. This indictment does not indicate that the individual in question was a minor. Only one girl testifies before the grand jury.
July 2006 – Palm Beach police chief is increasingly irritated by the lack of progress that his investigation into the legal system is making and convinces the FBI of a federal investigation. It is called Operation Leap Year and the possible crime under investigation is & # 39; child prostitution & # 39 ;.
November 2006 – Operation Leap Year starts to take effect when the FBI starts interviewing potential witnesses and victims from the three states that Epstein owns: Florida, New York and New Mexico.
June 2007 – The US prosecutor draws up a long indictment as Epstein's federal probe comes to an end, while at the same time Epstein begins negotiating a possible plea agreement.
July 2007 – A new series of grand jury subpoenas will be issued, including the one for Epstein's computers. When the police go to take home those summons on Epstein & # 39; s Palm Beach, they discover that they have all been removed.
August 2007 – The American lawyer at the time, Alex Acosta, joins the Epstein negotiation talks.
September 2007 – Epstein signs a non-prosecution agreement on 24 September following the rejection of several plea agreements. His criminal charges are then postponed to the Palm Beach County State Office.
October 2007 – Acosta meets with Epstein & # 39; s lawyer Jay Lefkowitz to finalize the terms of the plea agreement. It has been agreed that the victims will not be informed, that the deal will be sealed and that all the subpoenas of the grand jury will be canceled – including those for Epstein & # 39; s computers, which were still free.
January 2008 – After months of demands, Epstein and his lawyers say they will no longer accept the plea agreement because he is forcing him to register as a sex offender.
February 2008 – A civil lawsuit is brought against Epstein by an anonymous woman, in which it is stated that as a 16-year-old minor she was recruited to give Epstein a paid massage. She is claiming $ 50 million, claiming that she was then violence to perform sexual acts on Epstein.
March 2008 – A federal grand jury presentation is planned after the FBI probe. Lawyers for Epstein start harassing victims with phone calls and one of his investigators is accused of wanting to run the father of a victim off the road.
March 2008 – A second woman is filing a civil action against Epstein.
May 2008 – It is announced that the federal case against Epstein can continue in the case without any plea.
June 2008 – On June 30, Epstein pleads guilty of one count of the request for prostitution and one count of the request for prostitution with a minor under the age of 18. Both are state costs and he has been sentenced to 18 months in prison. He will also have to register as a sex offender.
July 2008 – Epstein & # 39; s victims learn from the plea agreement, but it will be another 10 years before they are informed of all the details, including the fact that the victim was 16 in the charge to which Epstein had made a guilty plea and not 14 as the women were led to believe. Because of this, Epstein could not register as a sex offender in several states, such as New Mexico, where he has a ranch. An emergency call is submitted to the Crime Victims Act, which stipulates that victims are informed about advocacy agreements and the right to appear at a conviction. It is being ignored.
August 2008 – Epstein & # 39; s agreement cannot be unlocked for victims to see it being ruled in court, with federal prosecutors fighting to keep the data hidden from the public.
October 2008 – Epstein begins with the release of the county stockad, where he is transported six days a week to an office where he is able to work and entertain visitors. He returns to the palisade in the evening.
December 2008 – A judge grants Epstein's request to travel to New York for a day and then an extended stay. He says it's a lawsuit, but after a first filing there is no follow-up in the case.
July 22, 2009 – Epstein has been released from prison.
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