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 TrumpChelsea Clinton announces birth of third child Ukrainian officials and Giuliani are sharing back-channel campaign information: report Trump attacks 'the Squad' as 'racist group of troublemakers' MORE to demand the resignation of Labor Secretary Alexander AcostaAlex Alexander AcostaThe Hill's Morning Report: Trump walks back from 'send her back' chants Trump taps Scalia's son as Labor secretary pick The Hill's Morning Report - Trump seizes House impeachment vote to rally GOP 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 SpeierSenators introduce legislation to boost cyber defense training in high school Here are the 95 Democrats who voted to support impeachment It's time for the left to advance a shared vision of national security: Start by passing the NDAA MORE (Calif.), Debbie Wasserman SchultzDeborah (Debbie) Wasserman SchultzEpstein charges show Congress must act to protect children from abuse NYT: Don't make Acosta a political martyr Epstein charges put Trump Labor secretary back in spotlight MORE (Fla.) and Lois FrankelLois Jane FrankelLawmakers concede they might have to pass a dreaded 'CR' Hillicon Valley: Trump officials to investigate French tax on tech giants | Fed chair raises concerns about Facebook's crypto project | FCC blocks part of San Francisco law on broadband competition | House members warn of disinformation 'battle' Lawmakers, experts see combating Russian disinformation as a 'battle' 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.