In letter to Department of Justice OPR, Murray and Kaine requested an update into investigation of then-U.S. Attorney Alexander Acosta’s sweetheart deal with serial sex abuser Jeffrey Epstein
In 2007, Acosta’s office approved Epstein to avoid federal prosecution for sex trafficking involving dozens of underage victims
In February, a federal judge ruled that prosecutors in Acosta’s office violated the law by failing to notify Epstein’s victims of a non-prosecution agreement
Murray and Kaine previously urged OPR to make the findings of its investigation public
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, and Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) sent a letter to the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) requesting an update into its investigation into then-U.S. Attorney R. Alexander Acosta’s sweetheart deal with serial sexual abuser Jeffrey Epstein and reiterating the need for OPR to commit to publicly release the findings of its investigation. Following the indictment of Jeffrey Epstein on sex trafficking and conspiracy charges, Senators Murray and Kaine both called for Acosta to resign as Secretary of Labor.
“With each new revelation in this situation regarding Mr. Epstein, we are ever more repulsed that such a miscarriage of justice not only took place but was allowed to stand without remedy for so many years,” the Senators wrote. “We are encouraged that the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York is pursuing criminal charges to finally bring Mr. Epstein to justice. It has never been more important that your office conduct a thorough, transparent, and expeditious investigation into the behavior of these DOJ attorneys in Florida.”
The letter is a follow-up to a previous letter Senators Murray and Kaine sent to OPR requesting it immediately make the findings of its investigation public once the investigation concludes. Murray and Kaine also urged the DOJ Inspector General’s office to conduct an independent investigation. In February, a federal judge ruled that federal prosecutors in Secretary Acosta’s office violated the law by failing to notify Epstein’s victims of the planned agreement.
The full text of the letter is below and the signed PDF can be found HERE.
July 9, 2019
Mr. Corey Amundson
Director and Chief Counsel
Office of Professional Responsibility
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20530
Dear Mr. Amundson,
We write to follow up on our earlier communications with your office, the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR), regarding the ongoing investigation to determine whether federal prosecutors in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida, including current Secretary of Labor R. Alexander Acosta, committed professional misconduct when dealing with the criminal matter involving Jeffrey Epstein. In light of shocking recent developments regarding the underlying criminal conduct of Mr. Epstein, which have culminated thus far in new federal sex trafficking charges filed in the Southern District of New York (SDNY), it is more important than ever that OPR provide an update on the status of its investigation and commit to transparency by pledging to publicly release its findings.
It is our understanding that your office began the present inquiry in early February 2019, but we have heard nothing since that time regarding its progress or anticipated time of conclusion. Particularly in light of the reprehensible acts DOJ lawyers detailed in the complaint and bail hearing memorandum submitted to the court in the SDNY, documents which we append to this letter to ensure your office is aware of their contents, it is essential that the public and elected officials be provided information about the progress of your work. Americans are right to expect a thorough, unbiased, and transparent investigation pursued with all possible expediency. These needs are only enhanced by the involvement of a sitting Cabinet official in this alleged misconduct.
Yesterday’s filings reveal not only new criminal charges against Mr. Epstein for heinous and pervasive sex crimes against dozens of young women and children but also the stunning disclosure of Mr. Epstein’s present possession of “an extraordinary volume” of pornographic photographs, almost certainly including child pornography. Of particular importance to your office’s inquiry into the conduct of Florida DOJ attorneys, SDNY attorneys have also alleged additional unconscionable and illegal activity by Epstein and his lawyers in their successful efforts to smother the initial prosecution in the Southern District of Florida, including “witness tampering, harassment, or other obstructive behaviors.” In its bail memorandum, SDNY attorneys cite discussions between Epstein’s lawyers and the Florida DOJ lawyers that demonstrate DOJ knew at the time about issues of obstruction, harassment, and witness tampering. Then-United States Attorney Alexander Acosta subsequently did not bring charges for these offenses, once again illustrating the inequities in our justice system in favor of the rich and powerful. The SDNY lawyers have alleged additional shocking behavior to interfere with the initial prosecution, including that private investigators employed by Epstein followed the father of an individual involved in the case and forced his car off the road. Again, this conduct was not charged, even though it fundamentally erodes our justice system and should shock the conscience of every American.
With each new revelation in this situation regarding Mr. Epstein, we are ever more repulsed that such a miscarriage of justice not only took place but was allowed to stand without remedy for so many years. We are encouraged that the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York is pursuing criminal charges to finally bring Mr. Epstein to justice. It has never been more important that your office conduct a thorough, transparent, and expeditious investigation into the behavior of these DOJ attorneys in Florida.
Thank you for your attention to this matter. We look forward to your prompt response providing a detailed timeline of the investigation’s progress and a statement of your commitment to public disclosure of your findings.