Sasse calls on DOJ to investigate its handling of wealthy sex offender's plea deal

Sen. Ben SasseBenjamin (Ben) Eric SasseCNN to partner with The Des Moines Register on polling ahead of 2020 Iowa caucuses Sasse calls on DOJ to investigate its handling of wealthy sex offender's plea deal Beto O'Rourke seen as a top contender in 2020: poll MORE (R-Neb.) is calling on the the Department of Justice (DOJ) to open an investigation into "possible misconduct" by its employees regarding treatment of alleged serial sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

Sasse, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, made the request Monday in letters sent to Assistant Attorney General Brian Benczkowski, DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz and Director of Professional Responsibility Corey Amundson.

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"The fact that this monster received such a pathetically soft sentence is a travesty that should outrage us all," Sasse wrote in his letter to Horowitz, according to a copy obtained by Axios, which first reported the content of the letters.

Sasse's office confirmed the text of the letters and their recipients but declined to comment further.

The letters came just days after the Miami Herald published a bombshell report with details about the deal Epstein received from the Southern District of Florida's office after he was accused of sexually abusing dozens of underage girls.

"I am particularly disturbed by this reporting indicating that federal prosecutors went out of their way to arrange this sweetheart deal for Epstein and conceal it from the women and girls that he abused who could have objected to it, in apparent violation of federal law," Sasse wrote in the letters.

“As such, I ask that you open an investigation into the instances identified in this reporting of possible misconduct by the DOJ employees that fall within the jurisdiction of your office," he wrote, adding that the department should respond to his request by the end of the week.

The DOJ declined a request for comment from The Hill.

In 2007, Labor Secretary Alexander AcostaRene (Alex) Alexander AcostaSasse calls on DOJ to investigate its handling of wealthy sex offender's plea deal Accusers won't testify for now against wealthy sex offender: report Lawmakers call for investigation into Labor Secretary Acosta for sex offender plea deal MORE, then the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Florida, struck a plea deal with Epstein that resulted in him receiving 13 months in county jail. Epstein, a wealthy Florida investor who pleaded guilty to two counts of prostitution in 2007, was facing life in prison for alleged sex trafficking and related crimes.

The Herald's reporting included comments from multiple people who accused Acosta of meeting Epstein's lawyers demands to cut a preferential deal. Emails revealed that Acosta's representatives privately communicated with Epstein's during the case, according to the Miami Herald.

A group of 15 Democratic lawmakers on Tuesday called for an investigation into Acosta's handling of the Epstein case. The lawmakers asked Horowitz to look into the "circumstances" regarding the nonprosecution agreement Acosta entered into with Epstein.

The Associated Press reported on Tuesday that Epstein reached a financial settlement in a long-running civl suit against him, meaning none of his alleged victims will testify in court.

Updated at 10:33 a.m.