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 TrumpTrump second-term plans remain a mystery to GOP Trump to hold outdoor rally in New Hampshire on Saturday Eighty-eight years of debt pieties MORE to demand the resignation of Labor Secretary Alexander AcostaAlex Alexander AcostaAppeals court finds prosecutors' secret plea agreement with Epstein didn't break law Florida sheriff ends work release program criticized over Jeffery Epstein The Hill's Morning Report — Presented by National Association of Manufacturers — Whistleblower complaint roils Washington 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 SpeierProtests force military reckoning on race Air Force documents acknowledged 'persistent' racial bias in justice system HHS watchdog says actions should be free from political interference MORE (Calif.), Debbie Wasserman SchultzDeborah (Debbie) Wasserman SchultzThe Hill's Coronavirus Report: Rep. Rodney Davis says most important thing White House can do on COVID-19 is give consistent messaging; US new cases surpass 50k for first time VA initiates process to remove headstones with Nazi symbols Overnight Defense: Trump extends deployment of National Guard troops to aid with coronavirus response | Pentagon considers reducing quarantine to 10 days | Lawmakers push for removal of Nazi headstones from VA cemeteries MORE (Fla.) and Lois FrankelLois Jane FrankelFormer cop Demings faces progressive pushback in veepstakes Gloves come off as Democrats fight for House seat in California House members race to prepare for first-ever remote votes 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.