Dems call on Trump to fire Acosta

Dems call on Trump to fire Acosta
© Stefani Reynolds

Three House Democrats are collecting signatures for a letter calling on President TrumpDonald John TrumpDem senator says Zelensky was 'feeling the pressure' to probe Bidens 2020 Dems slam Trump decision on West Bank settlements Trump calls latest impeachment hearings 'a great day for Republicans' MORE to demand the resignation of Labor Secretary Alexander AcostaAlex Alexander AcostaThe Hill's Morning Report — Presented by National Association of Manufacturers — Whistleblower complaint roils Washington On The Money: Senate confirms Scalia as Labor chief | Bill with B in wall funding advanced over Democrats' objections | Lawyers reach deal to delay enforcement of NY tax return subpoena Sanders calls Eugene Scalia's Labor Dept. confirmation 'obscene' MORE.

The push comes a day after a federal judge ruled that Acosta and other federal prosecutors acted illegally in making a plea deal with accused child sexual abuser and billionaire Jeffrey Epstein before speaking with his victims. 

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“Despite abundant evidence and multiple witnesses still willing to come forward, then-U.S. Attorney Acosta failed to charge Epstein under federal trafficking laws, which could have put Epstein away for life,” the letter states. “Instead, he pleaded guilty to far lesser prostitution-related charges and served only 13 months in a private wing of a county jail but was able to leave 6 days a week for 12 hours at a time.”

The letter is being organized by Democratic Reps. Jackie SpeierKaren (Jackie) Lorraine Jacqueline SpeierMaloney wins vote for Oversight chairwoman Live coverage: House holds third day of public impeachment hearings Sondland testimony looms over impeachment hearings this week MORE (Calif.), Debbie Wasserman SchultzDeborah (Debbie) Wasserman SchultzOvernight Defense: Erdoğan gets earful from GOP senators | Amazon to challenge Pentagon cloud contract decision in court | Lawmakers under pressure to pass benefits fix for military families Dem rep defends calling Ken Cuccinelli a white supremacist Both sides claim win in White House official's impeachment testimony MORE (Fla.) and Lois FrankelLois Jane FrankelUS must lead the charge on global reproductive rights — not stand in the way Charlize Theron: We didn't want the politics to overshadow 'Bombshell' Democrats introduce 'THUG Act' to block funding for G-7 at Trump resort MORE (Fla.).

“This despicable unjust plea deal that was arranged by Acosta showed no respect for the suffering of the victims and credible accounts of human trafficking and was a clear abuse of power for political gain,” the lawmakers write.

The letter says Acosta’s mishandling of the situation shows he's unfit to serve in the administration, arguing he “succumbed to the pressure” from Epstein’s legal team while disregarding the law.

“As Members of Congress we are committed to ensuring that those who occupy top positions in the federal government are held to the highest standards of the law,” they said. “We strongly believe that Secretary Acosta was negligent in his duty to represent the best interests of the victims and the U.S. Government. As such, we request that you immediately demand his letter of resignation.”

Lawmakers had until 2 p.m. Friday to add their signatures to the letter.

Epstein has been accused of setting up a network of underage girls for sex that included as many as 80 young women. Victims were allegedly asked to recruit more women for the scheme.

The Democrats cited reporting by the Miami Herald in November that said multiple women “were intimidated by Epstein and his staff and told not to talk to the police,” even after his arrest.