This article is based on two articles posted yesterday–one in The New York Post and one at Fox News.
The New York Post reports:
The Justice Department has opened an investigation into its own possible misconduct in the wrist-slap prosecution of multimillionaire serial pedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
The investigation is being conducted by the department’s Office of Professional Responsibility, according to MSNBC.
“OPR has now opened an investigation into allegations that Department attorneys may have committed professional misconduct in the manner in which the Epstein criminal matter was resolved,” Assistant Attorney General Stephen E. Boyd said in a Feb. 6 letter to Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.).
“OPR will thoroughly investigate the allegations of misconduct that have been raised and, consistent with its practice, will share its results with you at the conclusion of its investigation as appropriate,” he wrote.
Sasse, a member of the Judiciary Committee, had asked last month for an investigation into Justice’s treatment of Epstein, citing a Miami Herald series on the pervy hedge fund manager’s crimes and the sweetheart deal that let him off the hook.
Senator Sasse has a reputation as someone who opposes President Trump.
Fox News reports:
The Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) has opened an investigation into a generous plea bargain awarded in 2007 by a top Florida prosecutor — who now serves as President Trump’s secretary of labor — to a wealthy, Clinton-connected financier and sex offender accused of abusing underage sex slaves.
…Alexander Acosta negotiated what critics are calling a sweetheart, potentially corrupt plea deal with Jeffrey Epstein when he was the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Florida. The arrangement required Epstein to pay restitution to dozens of victims, but offered a variety of unusual concessions as part of a non-prosecution agreement.
So let’s back up and look at this for a minute. Jeffrey Epstein was (and is) very well connected politically. Bill Clinton is directly involved in this scandal–there are records of him flying to Epstein’s island on Epstein’s plane. However, the Clintons have lost a lot of their political sway in the past two years. It is quite possible that this investigation will snare Bill Clinton, but it will also make President Trump look bad because he appointed Alexander Acosta as Secretary of Labor. For a never-Trumper like Senator Sasse, it’s a win-win situation–the Republicans get Bill Clinton and he gets President Trump.
The matter did come up during Alexander Acosta’s confirmation hearing.
Fox News reports:
In 2017, Virginia Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine asked Acosta about the plea deal during his confirmation hearings.
“Why cut a non-prosecution deal despite your staff saying you shouldn’t?” Kaine asked.
“That is not accurate,” Acosta, who at the time was dean of Florida International University’s law school, responded. ““It was a broadly-held decision. … The grand jury recommended a single count of solicitation not involving minors. That would have resulted in zero jail time, zero registration as a sexual offender and zero restitution for the victims in this case.”
Instead, Acosta said, he pushed to escalate Epstein’s case to the federal level, even as he recognized that proving all of the allegations against him would be difficult.
“It was highly unusual where a U.S. attorney becomes involved in a matter that has already gone to the grand jury at the state level,” Acosta told senators. “We decided that Mr. Epstein should plead guilty to two years, register as a sexual offender, and concede liability so the victims should get restitution in this matter.”
Asked about keeping the deal confidential, Acosta suggested that he was following common practice.
Jeffrey Epstein’s sentence was a joke. The Department of Justice should investigate it. However, considering some of the bias shown in the recent actions of the Department of Justice, I have no idea what to expect.