Pelosi Calls on Trump’s Labor Secretary to Resign Amid Epstein Abuse Scandal

The House speaker blasted the president for appointing Alex Acosta.

Tom Williams/ZUMA

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday demanded the resignation of Labor Secretary Alex Acosta over his role in the controversial 2007 plea deal that allowed disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein to escape a full investigation—and possible life sentence—over allegations that Epstein had sexually abused underage girls. (In court filings, Epstein had said that he believed his encounters were consensual and that his alleged victims were 18.)

Acosta faced renewed scrutiny in recent days over his involvement in the agreement after Epstein was arrested on Saturday on similar charges. Pelosi on Monday condemned the deal brokered by Acosta, then the US Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, as “unconscionable” and directly criticized President Donald Trump for appointing Acosta to his cabinet.

In an unsealed criminal indictment Monday, federal prosecutors alleged Epstein operated a “vast network” of underage victims, some as young as 14, “to sexually exploit, often on a daily basis.” Epstein has pleaded not guilty to the new charges. 

Pelosi’s tweet adds her name to a growing chorus of Democrats calling on Acosta to step down.

The White House has so far been silent on Acosta’s future, but Trump’s past remarks on the labor secretary’s connection to the Epstein case signal that he’s unlikely to fire Acosta. “I know he’s done a great job as Labor secretary, and that seems like a long time ago, but I know he’s been a fantastic labor secretary,” Trump told reporters in February after a federal judge ruled that Acosta and other federal prosecutors had acted unlawfully by keeping the 2007 deal hidden from the public. “That’s all I can really tell you about it.”

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate