Schumer calls on Acosta to step down over Epstein

Schumer calls on Acosta to step down over Epstein
© Greg Nash
Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerTensions rise in Senate's legislative 'graveyard' 2020 Republicans accuse Schumer of snubbing legislation Schumer: Leadership trying to work out competing surprise medical bill measures MORE (D-N.Y.) will call on Tuesday for Labor Secretary Alexander AcostaAlex Alexander AcostaThe 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 Sanders calls Eugene Scalia's Labor Dept. confirmation 'obscene' MORE to resign amid growing criticism about his ties to financier Jeffrey Epstein, a source close to the Democratic leader confirmed to The Hill. 
 
 
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“@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.”
 
Schumer and Pelosi are part of a growing chorus of voices calling for Acosta to resign over the 2008 deal. 
 
 
Acosta is facing intense scrutiny, including calls for him to resign, after federal prosecutors in New York unsealed new sex trafficking charges against Epstein on Monday, including alleged abuse of dozens of female minors. 
 
The charges are being contrasted to a 2008 plea deal that Acosta, then a U.S. attorney, approved for Epstein that enabled him to serve 13 months in “custody with work release." 
 
Acosta was confirmed in a 60-38 vote for the Labor Department post, including winning the support of nine Democratic senators. He's defended the 2008 plea deal, which took place when he was the U.S. attorney for the southern district of Florida, arguing that it ensured Epstein served jail time, register as a sex offender and pay damages to victims.

"At the end of day, Mr. Epstein went to jail. Epstein was incarcerated. He registered as a sex offender,” Acosta told members of a House Appropriations subcommittee last year.