Pelosi calls for Acosta to step down over Epstein case

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiWe need to be 'One America,' the polling says — and the politicians should listen Florida Democrat hits administration over small business loan rollout The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Dybul interview; Boris Johnson update MORE (D-Calif.) late Monday called for Labor Secretary Alexander AcostaAlex Alexander AcostaFlorida sheriff ends work release program criticized over Jeffery Epstein The 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 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 TrumpOvernight Health Care: US hits 10,000 coronavirus deaths | Trump touts 'friendly' talk with Biden on response | Trump dismisses report on hospital shortages as 'just wrong' | Cuomo sees possible signs of curve flattening in NY We need to be 'One America,' the polling says — and the politicians should listen Barr tells prosecutors to consider coronavirus risk when determining bail: report 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.