A 2008 plea deal by a billionaire sex offender is coming back to haunt Trump's labor secretary pick — and Trump

Will there be yet another Puzder?
(Image credit: AP Photo/Alan Diaz)

In 2008, Alexander Acosta, then the top federal prosecutor in Miami, cut a deal with billionaire investor Jeffrey Epstein in which Epstein pleaded guilty to a Florida charge of soliciting underage girls, earning a 13-month jail sentence, in return for immunity from federal prosecution for any offenses committed between 2001 and 2007. If Acosta had prosecuted him on federal charges tied to his alleged sexual abuse of more than 40 girls, mostly aged 13 to 17, he faced up to life in prison. Acosta, who is President Trump's second nominee for labor secretary, is now facing scrutiny in a civil case in Florida over Epstein's light sentence, and Trump is on the witness list.

Trump is just one of the famous people who palled around with Epstein before his fall from grace, partying at his Palm Beach mansion and flying off on his private jet to his private Caribbean estate. Former President Bill Clinton, Mick Jagger, Jimmy Buffett, Michael Jackson, and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair were among his other guests. (None, including Trump, has been accused of participating in Epstein's sexual misdeeds.) But Trump is on the witness list because, lawyers for Epstein's victims say, he might have useful information, as Epstein was apparently banned from Mar-a-Lago "because Epstein sexually assaulted an underage girl at the club." Lawyers involved with several Epstein cases tell The Washington Post there's almost no chance that Trump will actually be required to testify.

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up
To continue reading this article...
Continue reading this article and get limited website access each month.
Get unlimited website access, exclusive newsletters plus much more.
Cancel or pause at any time.
Already a subscriber to The Week?
Not sure which email you used for your subscription? Contact us