Last night, former US attorney & DEA head Chuck Rosenberg appeared on Rachel Maddow and demolished Acosta's excuses. The claim that Acosta had to sign off on a bad deal or get no deal or no prosecution is laughable. The same goes for blaming Palm Beach county. The feds always have the authority to take a case away if they think local officials aren't doing their job - the US attorney already was involved in the case. If Acosta really felt he didn't have enough to bring charges, then he could keep investigating. The feds have more resources than a local county and there were dozens of victims here, not one or two. Also, Acosta tried to claim things are much different now than they were way back then - it was only 11 years ago. No, things weren't 'way different' and similar cases would successfully bring a conviction with a long prison sentence. Acosta started every answer with "So....." yes, so irritating and condescending, not to mention a tell that he was trying to sell something fishy
At a news conference in Washington, R. Alexander Acosta, the labor secretary and a former United States attorney in Florida, on Wednesday gave his account of how federal prosecutors dealt with allegations that Jeffrey Epstein had abused young women and girls, a case first handled by state prosecutors. Here’s how his version of events stacks up against what we know.
The role of state vs. federal prosecutors
What Mr. Acosta Said
“Simply put, the Palm Beach state attorney’s office was ready to let Epstein walk free, no jail time, nothing.”
Prosecutors who worked with Mr. Acosta said that the federal case presented them with legal challenges that made the matter more suited to a state court. Federal laws, they said, would have required the United States attorney’s office to prove that Mr. Epstein, a financier, crossed state lines with the intent to commit the acts.
Nonetheless, federal prosecutors had legal firepower and resources not available to a local prosecutor. That was especially important for a case that presented such complex legal and logistical challenges, involved a large number of victims — up to 40 at the time of the deal — and the prospect of facing the best defense lawyers and private investigators Mr. Epstein’s money could buy. Local law enforcement officials and the F.B.I. referred the case to Mr. Acosta, in part because they feared Mr. Epstein would face no more than a single state charge related to prostitution, which warranted a fine and no jail time.
read full NYT article here