Labor Secretary Alex Acosta held a press conference yesterday in an effort to save his job. The uproar is over the sweetheart plea deal he gave to known predator/pedophile Jeffrey Epstein when he was a federal prosecutor 11 years ago. Let’s explore!
As a federal prosecutor Acosta oversaw an investigation that the Jeffrey Epstein ran a child-sex trafficking ring. Acosta’s office cut an illegal plea-agreement with Epstein that included:
- An agreement to NOT prosecute him in federal court.
- An agreement to NOT prosecute Epstein’s co-conspirators.
- A failure to notify Epstein’s dozens of victims of the plea agreement, as required by law.
Epstein was jailed for 13 months in a state facility (that allowed him to commute to work!!!) and registered him as a sex offender.
OK, so that is your backgrounder (I can haz job at Vox now?)
Let’s start with the summary of the press conference, courtesy Axio’ morning email thingie (weird formatting and enigmatic bullet usage is theirs, I swear!):
Trump insiders tell Axios’ Jonathan Swan that Labor Secretary Alex Acosta did little to help himself at his high-stakes news conference defending his handling of the Jeffrey Epstein case when he was a federal prosecutor in Florida.
- Trump hates being goaded into action by media outcries.
- A source close to the president said there was “zero” chance he fires Acosta right away. “Zero,” the source repeated.
- But allowing for Trump’s impetuousness, another close source said: “I wouldn’t say zero.”
Between the lines: Trump will decide Acosta’s fate based in part on his instinct about how Acosta performed on camera, and how the awkward presser plays.
- In part, this is Trump as theater critic, making decisions almost as a detached observer of his own administration.
The bottom line: Acosta remains in a tough, shaky position.
- The secretary has no ideological support with conservatives close to Trump.
- And his TV performance wasn’t particularly strong.
So it did not go well!
Let’s examine what Acosta said in his stupid presser (Gonna try my hand at Axios’ style!):
- Criticized the media.
- Claimed people are only mad about it now because: #MeToo, which didn’t exist in the pre-Obama days.
- Blamed DOJ for failing to notify Epstein’s victims of the plea deal.
- Couldn’t explain why/how Epstein’s co-conspirators got off scot-free.
(I can haz job at Axios now?)
Acosta made Eiron, the goddess of irony weep: The Department of Labor oversees human trafficking laws.
Look, Acosta should have never have been the Labor Secretary, and let’s not forget that the only reason Acosta was confirmed was that the original choice, employee-hating, wife-beater (ALLEGED!) Andrew Puzder, was thought to be worse, and withdrew his nomination following public outcry!
*runs for cover! Apologies for the terrible pun, I am ashamed.