Pelosi Calls on Trump’s Labor Secretary to Resign Amid Epstein Abuse Scandal

The House speaker blasted the president for appointing Alex Acosta.

Tom Williams/ZUMA

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday demanded the resignation of Labor Secretary Alex Acosta over his role in the controversial 2007 plea deal that allowed disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein to escape a full investigation—and possible life sentence—over allegations that Epstein had sexually abused underage girls. (In court filings, Epstein had said that he believed his encounters were consensual and that his alleged victims were 18.)

Acosta faced renewed scrutiny in recent days over his involvement in the agreement after Epstein was arrested on Saturday on similar charges. Pelosi on Monday condemned the deal brokered by Acosta, then the US Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, as “unconscionable” and directly criticized President Donald Trump for appointing Acosta to his cabinet.

In an unsealed criminal indictment Monday, federal prosecutors alleged Epstein operated a “vast network” of underage victims, some as young as 14, “to sexually exploit, often on a daily basis.” Epstein has pleaded not guilty to the new charges. 

Pelosi’s tweet adds her name to a growing chorus of Democrats calling on Acosta to step down.

The White House has so far been silent on Acosta’s future, but Trump’s past remarks on the labor secretary’s connection to the Epstein case signal that he’s unlikely to fire Acosta. “I know he’s done a great job as Labor secretary, and that seems like a long time ago, but I know he’s been a fantastic labor secretary,” Trump told reporters in February after a federal judge ruled that Acosta and other federal prosecutors had acted unlawfully by keeping the 2007 deal hidden from the public. “That’s all I can really tell you about it.”

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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