A new report from The Daily Beast shed light on a potential reason that alleged pedophile Jeffrey Epstein was given the deal of a lifetime when he was convicted on child prostitution charges in 2008.
The report says that Alexander Acosta, a former U.S. attorney in Miami, told interviewers in the Trump transition team that he was told to back off of Epstein at the time because Epstein "belonged to intelligence." The Daily Beast reports:
“Is the Epstein case going to cause a problem [for confirmation hearings]?” Acosta had been asked. Acosta had explained, breezily, apparently, that back in the day he’d had just one meeting on the Epstein case. He’d cut the non-prosecution deal with one of Epstein’s attorneys because he had “been told” to back off, that Epstein was above his pay grade. “I was told Epstein ‘belonged to intelligence’ and to leave it alone,” he told his interviewers in the Trump transition, who evidently thought that was a sufficient answer and went ahead and hired Acosta. (The Labor Department had no comment when asked about this.)
The report was authored by Vicky Ward, who did original reporting on Epstein for Vanity Fair in 2003 and who allegedly had portions of her story — about the allegations of Epstein's relationships with girls — removed before publication.
It's unclear what exactly Acosta's alleged remarks mean. Acosta is scheduled to give a press conference this afternoon at 2:30 PM EST to talk about the issue.
Epstein, 66, was arrested on Saturday on charges of child sex trafficking stemming from alleged incidents that happened from 2002 to 2005.
The Miami Herald reported in 2008 on the VIP treatment that Epstein received from prosecutors:
Unlike other convicted sex offenders, Epstein didn’t face the kind of rough justice that child sex offenders do in Florida state prisons. Instead of being sent to state prison, Epstein was housed in a private wing of the Palm Beach County jail. And rather than having him sit in a cell most of the day, the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office allowed Epstein work release privileges, which enabled him to leave the jail six days a week, for 12 hours a day, to go to a comfortable office that Epstein had set up in West Palm Beach. This was granted despite explicit sheriff’s department rules stating that sex offenders don’t qualify for work release.
The reporter for the Miami Herald who did the extensive reporting on Epstein, Julie K. Brown, said on Sunday that there are "very powerful people" who are "sweating a little bit" over Epstein’s arrest on Saturday because they could become implicated in the case.