Schumer to donate Epstein campaign contributions to groups fighting sexual violence

Schumer to donate Epstein campaign contributions to groups fighting sexual violence
© Aaron Schwartz

Senate Minority Leader Chuck SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerOvernight Health Care: Trump officials making changes to drug pricing proposal | House panel advances flavored e-cig ban | Senators press FDA tobacco chief on vaping ban Chad Wolf becomes acting DHS secretary Schumer blocks drug pricing measure during Senate fight, seeking larger action MORE (D-N.Y.) said Wednesday he will donate an amount of money that's equivalent to the contributions accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein made to his campaign in the 1990s.

“While these campaign accounts closed about 20 years ago, and even then the campaign never controlled the two political action committees (PACs), Sen. Schumer is donating an equal sum to anti-sex trafficking and anti-violence against women groups,” Schumer spokesperson Justin Goodman said in a statement to The Hill

The donations will go to Safe Horizon, Sanctuary For Families, Crime Victims Treatment Center and John Jay College Foundation

BuzzFeed News was the first to report the donations.

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Federal Election Commission filings compiled by OpenSecrets.org show that Schumer received seven $1,000 donations from Epstein between 1992 and 1997 through several PACs supporting his run for Senate.

Epstein was a prominent campaign donor to both parties, giving money to politicians like former President Clinton, former Sen. John KerryJohn Forbes KerryGrowing 2020 field underscores Democratic divide The Memo: Democrats confront prospect of long primary Democrats debate how to defeat Trump: fight or heal MORE (D-Mass.), former Sen. Bob Dole (R-Kan.) and former Sen. Alfonse D’Amato (R-N.Y.).

Federal prosecutors charged Epstein this week with sex trafficking that included underage girls in New York and Florida. He has pleaded not guilty.

The U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan said Epstein created “a network and operation enabling him to sexually exploit and abuse dozens of underage girls,” and that he paid victims to recruit other girls.

Schumer isn't the only lawmaker to funds tied to campaign contributions from Epstein.

Del. Stacey PlaskettStacey PlaskettOmar says US should reconsider aid to Israel Schumer to donate Epstein campaign contributions to groups fighting sexual violence House Democrat backtracks, will now donate Epstein's campaign contributions MORE (D-Virgin Islands) announced Tuesday that she would donate campaign contributions she received from Epstein to Virgin Islands organizations that work with women and children.

Schumer, along with several other prominent Democrats, have called on Labor Secretary Alex 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 over a controversial plea deal he gave Epstein when he was a prosecutor in 2008 to resolve multiple allegations of sexual molestation. The deal, which allowed the financier to avoid federal charges and leave prison on a daily basis to attend work, has been slammed as too lenient.

Updated at 5:04 p.m.