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Congresswoman Karen Bass

Representing the 37th District of California

Bass, Lieu & Democratic Members of Judiciary Crime Subcommittee Request Briefing on Sec. Acosta’s Deal For Jeffrey Epstein

July 11, 2019
Press Release
WASHINGON – Today, Members of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security, led by Crime Subcommittee Chairwoman Karen Bass (D-CA) and Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA), sent a letter to the Department of Justice requesting a briefing on Jeffrey Epstein’s 2007 non-prosecution agreement and any related information regarding misconduct by the now-Labor Secretary Alex Acosta.

In their letter, Members wrote, “We are abhorred by Epstein’s sexual abuse of young girls in the early 2000s. Investigative reporting by the Miami Herald shows that Epstein allegedly abused at least three dozen girls in his Florida and New York homes forcing them to engage in sex acts, paying them, and directing them to recruit future victims. This behavior constituted clear criminal activity that could have resulted in a life sentence for Epstein. The recent indictment in the Southern District of New York has further illuminated the horrific nature of the abuse alleged to be perpetrated by Epstein and his associates.”
 
The letter was signed by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and Reps. Karen Bass (D-CA), Ted Lieu (D-CA), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), Lucy McBath (D-GA), Theodore Deutch (D-FL), Cedric Richmond (D-LA), Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), David Cicilline (D-RI), Madeleine Dean (D-PA), Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D-FL) and Steve Cohen (D-TN). 
 
The letter is available here and below. 
 
July 10, 2019
 
The Honorable Jeffrey A. Rosen
Deputy Attorney General 
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20530
 
Dear Mr. Rosen:
 
As Members of the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security, we write to request a briefing on the 2007 non-prosecution agreement between the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida and Mr. Jeffrey E. Epstein, and any related commission of professional misconduct by then-United States Attorney Alexander Acosta.
 
We are abhorred by reports of Mr. Epstein’s repeated and longstanding sexual abuse of young girls.  Investigative reporting by the Miami Herald details Mr. Epstein’s alleged abuse of at least three dozen girls in his Florida and New York homes forcing them to engage in sex acts and coercing them to recruit future victims.  This despicable behavior constituted clear criminal activity that could have resulted in a lengthy sentence for Mr. Epstein had charges been vigorously pursed against him at the time.  This week’s indictment in the Southern District of New York has further underscored the horrific nature of the abuse alleged to be perpetrated by Mr. Epstein and his associates.
 
Despite the fact that federal prosecutors had drafted a 53-page indictment and an 82-page prosecution memo for Mr. Epstein, then-U.S. Attorney Acosta signed a non-prosecution agreement that absolved Mr. Epstein of federal prosecution and ended the related Federal Bureau of Investigation inquiry.  Per the agreement, Mr. Epstein served only 13 months in jail, during which he spent six days a week and 12 hours a day at his office as part of a work release arrangement.  Further troubling is that Mr. Epstein’s victims were purportedly not made aware of the non-prosecution agreement, preventing them from voicing opposition and possibly violating the Crime Victims’ Rights Act.  The Miami Herald described the non-prosecution agreement as “the deal of a lifetime.”
 
As Members of the Committee with oversight of the Department of Justice we believe it is of paramount importance that we learn the basis and rationale for the unusual plea deal and review source documents that shed light on the disturbing agreement.  We have serious misgivings about Secretary Acosta’s handling of the case and whether the Department fairly administered justice.
 
We respectfully request a briefing and any relevant documents by July 24, 2019.  Thank you for your attention to this important manner.
 
Sincerely,