A trove of lewd photographs of girls, discovered in a safe inside the financier Jeffrey Epstein’s Manhattan mansion the same day he was arrested, is deepening questions about why federal prosecutors in Miami had cut a deal that shielded him from federal prosecution in 2008.
Federal prosecutors in Manhattan charged Mr. Epstein on Monday with sex trafficking, dealing an implicit rebuke to that plea agreement, which was overseen by Alexander Acosta, then the United States attorney in Miami and now President Trump’s labor secretary.
The indictment in Manhattan could prompt a moment of reckoning for the Justice Department, which for years has wrestled with accusations that it mishandled the earlier case and has faced a barrage of litigation from Mr. Epstein’s accusers. In February, the Justice Department opened its own internal review
into the matter.
Attorney General William P. Barr said on Monday during a trip to South Carolina that he had recused himself from the case because Mr. Barr’s former law firm, Kirkland & Ellis, had represented Mr. Epstein.