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Schumer calls on Acosta to step down over Epstein

Schumer calls on Acosta to step down over Epstein
© Greg Nash
Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerBiden to meet with 6 GOP senators next week The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Emergent BioSolutions - Upbeat jobs data, relaxed COVID-19 restrictions offer rosier US picture How to fast-track climate action? EPA cutting super pollutant HFCs MORE (D-N.Y.) will call on Tuesday for Labor Secretary Alexander AcostaAlex Alexander AcostaOn The Money: Trump slams relief bill, calls on Congress to increase stimulus money | Biden faces new critical deadlines after relief package | Labor rule allows restaurants to require broader tip pooling Labor rule allows restaurants to require broader tip pooling Federal litigator files complaint alleging Labor secretary abused his authority MORE to resign amid growing criticism about his ties to financier Jeffrey Epstein, a source close to the Democratic leader confirmed to The Hill. 
 
Schumer's forthcoming remarks come after House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiBiden to meet with 6 GOP senators next week Five takeaways on a surprisingly poor jobs report On The Money: Weekly jobless claims fall to 498K, hitting new post-lockdown low | House to advance appropriations bills in June, July MORE (D-Calif.) tweeted on Monday evening that Acosta should step down over his involvement in a 2008 plea deal with Epstein. 
 
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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. 
 
Sen. Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineManchin on collision course with Warren, Sanders On The Money: Incomes, consumer spending soared in March | Harris, senators work behind scenes on jobs package | Biden cancels some border wall construction Harris, senators work behind scenes on jobs package MORE (D-Va.), who questioned Acosta on the 2008 plea deal during his confirmation hearing, tweeted on Monday that he "must go." Other Senate Democrats have stopped short of immediately demanding he step down. 
 
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.