Pelosi calls for Acosta to step down over Epstein case

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiConservatives erupt in outrage against budget deal Grassley, Wyden reach deal to lower drug prices Why do Republicans keep trying to outspend Democrats in Congress? MORE (D-Calif.) late Monday called for 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 to resign for his “unconscionable agreement” in securing a plea deal for Jeffrey Epstein that enabled the financier to serve just over a year in prison following a sex crimes conviction.

“@SecretaryAcosta must step down,” Pelosi tweeted. “As US Attorney, he engaged in an unconscionable agreement w/ Jeffrey Epstein kept secret from courageous, young victims preventing them from seeking justice. This was known by @POTUS when he appointed him to the cabinet.”

Acosta, a U.S. attorney at the time of Epstein’s 2008 conviction for soliciting prostitution from underaged girls, approved the deal with Epstein that enabled him to serve 13 months in “custody with work release." The deal also let Epstein spend 16 hours a day outside of prison.

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Acosta has routinely defended the deal as necessary to ensure that Epstein served time behind bars.

Epstein was arrested in New Jersey on Saturday on sex trafficking charges, and prosecutors allege he sexually abused dozens of girls between 2002 and 2005. U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman has said federal agents discovered nude photographs of apparently underage girls from his New York mansion.

Epstein pleaded not guilty to the charges on Monday.

Senate Republicans have declined to criticize the Labor secretary or echo calls for him to resign or be fired by President TrumpDonald John Trump5 things to know about Boris Johnson Conservatives erupt in outrage against budget deal Trump says Omar will help him win Minnesota MORE, instead noting that the 2008 plea deal between Acosta and Epstein was vetted as part of Acosta's 2017 hearing for his nomination to Trump's Cabinet.