“As Members of Congress, we ask that you pursue justice on behalf of these victims swiftly and with the full force of the agency.”
(Washington D.C.) – U.S. Reps. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Lois Frankel, and Jackie Speier joined 11 House colleagues today in calling on the U.S. Department of Justice to re-open the agreement made with serial sexual abuser Jeffrey Epstein and to make public the internal misconduct investigation of then-U.S. Attorney Alex Acosta, the current Labor Secretary, who approved the illegal plea deal.
Mr. Epstein was accused of sexually abusing more than 80 girls. Yet Mr. Acosta approved a non-prosecution agreement that effectively shut down an investigation into whether or not there were more victims and granted immunity to Epstein’s co-conspirators. As a result of this miscarriage of justice, Mr. Epstein was able to avoid federal charges and serve a sentence of less than 13 months in jail, most of which was spent on work-release inside his West Palm Beach office.
Last month, a federal judge ruled that Secretary Acosta and other federal prosecutors had violated the Crime Victims’ Rights Act (CVRA) because they failed to notify the victims of this agreement. The judge wrote that prosecutors had also misled the victims and sought “to conceal the existence” of the plea deal. The court noted that it has previously held that the CVRA permits the reopening of a prosecutorial agreement, “including a non-prosecution agreement, reached in violation of prosecutor’s conferral obligations under the statute.”
In addition, the DOJ must make the results of its recently-opened Office of Professional Responsibility investigation, and all related documents, publicly available and promptly provide them to Congress for review.
“It is at this critical juncture that the agency has an opportunity to foster greater transparency and accountability with the American public,” the letter to Attorney General William Barr states. “As Members of Congress, we ask that you pursue justice on behalf of these victims swiftly and with the full force of the agency.”
Among those also demanding full accountability and transparency in this disturbing Department of Justice-approved plea deal: Reps. Juan Vargas, Al Lawson, Tim Ryan, Alcee L. Hastings, Kathy Castor, Steven Cohen, Jamie Raskin, Ted Deutch, Donald S. Beyer Jr., Debbie Murcasel-Powell, and Donna Shalala.