Billionaire Jeffrey Epstein charged with sex trafficking and conspiracy

Acosta has been an "excellent secretary of Labor", Trump said.

Rep. Katherine Clark, D-Mass., says this was not the only time Acosta turned a blind eye to child trafficking. "I was not a fan of his, that I can tell you", Trump said.

The Epstein case burst back into headlines this week after the financier was charged with having allegedly operated a sex trafficking ring in which he sexually abused dozens of underage girls.

Epstein, 66, was arrested at an airport in New Jersey on Saturday after returning to the United States from Paris on a private jet.

According to court records in Florida, authorities allege at least 40 underage girls were brought into Mr Epstein's Palm Beach mansion for sexual encounters after being recruited around the world.

Jeffrey Epstein (left) and Donald Trump at the Mar-a-Lago estate in 1997.

In 2002, Trump instructed NY journal that he'd known Epstein "for 15 years", calling him a "terrific guy". "Terrific guy", Trump said.

In those comments that have become a problem for the president, he also appeared to acknowledge and even make light of the financier's affinity for young girls. "He's a lot of fun to be with".

He said the accused presented a flight risk and he would recommend custody pending trial. "Dinky doubt about it - Jeffrey enjoys his social life".

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Acosta must step down - or be fired.

Since Trump's decision to enter the presidential race in 2015, his aides and allies have been eager to minimize any connection to Epstein, knowing that Epstein's relationship with Bill Clinton would be investigated at a time Hillary Clinton was likely to be his opponent.

Thus far, President Trump has defended Acosta, praising his work as labor secretary and saying he felt "very badly" for him "because I've known him as being somebody that works so hard and has done such a good job". Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, a 2020 candidate, tweeted Tuesday.

"It's up to the president, it's his cabinet. I was really scared", said Jennifer Araoz.

So, since we're going to be following his case until the current charges against him are resolved via an acquittal, a conviction or a plea deal, we thought it would be helpful to gather some background information about him. "He spoke yesterday in the Oval Office, he and I have spoken", he said.

Acosta said in a series of tweets Tuesday that the passage of time in this case may be an advantage because more evidence is known and more victims are willing to come forward. Berman, the US attorney, said he was not bound by it.

Acosta has served as Trump's labour secretary since April 2017.

Acosta's Labor Department budget proposal for fiscal year 2020 proposed slashing the budget of the International Labor Affairs Bureau (ILAB) by almost 80 percent. Trump glanced toward the assembled press, but did not answer. Court documents related to the case have been kept under seal, and no official announcement of Epstein's arrest has been made.

Acosta, who served as a U.S attorney in Florida, secured the federal non-prosecution agreement against Epstein in 2008, which critics have blasted as too lenient.

Black also defended the negotiations that led to the non-prosecution agreement.

Prosecutors involved in that agreement included Alex Acosta, then the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida and now Trump's Secretary of Labor.

Democrats in Congress have called for Acosta to resign, over the "sweetheart deal" and urged the Justice Department to release its review publicly.

That deal is coming under intense scrutiny in the wake of the charges against Epstein this week, with some truly disgusting details of his alleged sex trafficking of underage girls. He was once in a position to hump away practically day to day for work, and was once allowed to maintain his procure deepest safety component in the support of bars.

  • Leroy Wright