Law & the Courts

Huckabee Sanders Defends Labor Secretary’s Prosecution of Jeffrey Epstein Case

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders speaks to reporters at the White House in Washington, D.C., February 13, 2019. (Carlos Barria/Reuters)

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters Friday that Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta, then serving as a federal prosecutor in Florida, made the “best possible decision and deal” when prosecuting billionaire Jeffrey Epstein in 2008 for abusing dozens of teenage girls.

“We’re looking into the matter. I’m not aware of any changes on that front,” Sanders told reporters when asked if the president had lost confidence in Acosta in the wake of a federal judge’s ruling that Acosta illegally mishandled the case. “My understanding is that’s a very complicated case . . . but that they made the best possible decision and deal they could have gotten at that time.”

U.S. District Court Judge Kenneth Marra ruled Thursday that Acosta violated federal law by concealing the plea deal he offered to Epstein from the billionaire’s many victims. The ruling was issued as part of a years-long lawsuit brought by a number of the victims identified only as Jane Does, but did not address what damages, if any, the women are entitled to.

Epstein was sentenced to just 18 months in prison in what the Miami Herald referred to as “the deal of a lifetime” following an extensive investigation, which found that the hedge-fund tycoon may have abused more than 100 underage girls after luring them to his Palm Beach mansion under the guise that they would be well paid to give him massages.

Epstein pled guilty to just two state prostitution charges despite prosecutors’ having identified as many as 36 victims. Acosta also took the unusual step of granting immunity to “any potential co-conspirators” in Epstein’s sex ring who had yet to be identified.

The Herald investigation, published in November, galvanized public support for Epstein’s victims and led a number of lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to demand that the Department of Justice’s Office of Professional Responsibility open an investigation into Acosta’s handling of the case.

Something to Consider

If you enjoyed this article, we have a proposition for you: Join NRPLUS. Members get all of our content (including the magazine), no paywalls or content meters, an advertising-minimal experience, and unique access to our writers and editors (conference calls, social-media groups, etc.). And importantly, NRPLUS members help keep NR going. Consider it?

If you enjoyed this article, and were stimulated by its contents, we have a proposition for you: Join NRPLUS.


Most Popular


The Democrats Made Two Joe Biden Miscalculations

I think it's safe to say that there are many, many progressive Democrats who are more than a little surprised -- and a lot chagrined -- at Joe Biden's polling dominance. Look at FiveThirtyEight's polling roundup. Aside from a few high and low outliers, he leads the race by a solid 20 points (at least). Even ... Read More
National Security & Defense

The Warmonger Canard

Whatever the opposite of a rush to war is — a crawl to peace, maybe — America is in the middle of one. Since May 5, when John Bolton announced the accelerated deployment of the Abraham Lincoln carrier group to the Persian Gulf in response to intelligence of a possible Iranian attack, the press has been aflame ... Read More