The best evidence yet for too many scandals

Is that most people have no idea who Alexander Acosta is and that he still has his job.  This is nuts.  Michele Goldberg with a nice summary of the key facts:

It is the perverse good fortune of Alexander Acosta, Donald Trump’s secretary of labor, to be part of an administration so spectacularly corrupt that it’s simply impossible to give all its scandals the attention they deserve. [emphases mine]

Last Wednesday, The Miami Herald published a blockbuster multipart exposé about how the justice system failed the victims of Jeffrey Epstein, a rich, politically connected financier who appears to have abused underage girls on a near-industrial scale. The investigation, more than a year in the making, described Epstein as running a sort of child molestation pyramid scheme, in which girls — some in middle school — would be recruited to give Epstein “massages” at his Palm Beach mansion, pressured into sex acts, then coerced into bringing him yet more girls. The Herald reported that Epstein was also suspected of trafficking girls from overseas.

What’s shocking is not just the lurid details and human devastation of his alleged crimes, but the way he was able to use his money to escape serious consequences, thanks in part to Acosta, then Miami’s top federal prosecutor. For reasons that are not entirely clear, Acosta took extraordinary measures to let Epstein — and, crucially, other unnamed people — off the hook.

The labor secretary, whose purview includes combating human trafficking, has done nothing so far to rebut The Herald’s reporting. (A spokesman for his department has referred reporters to his previous statements about the case.) It should end his career. The story might have been overshadowed by last week’s cascading revelations in the Trump-Russia scandal, or the news that acting attorney general Matthew Whitaker knew of numerous fraud complaints against a company he advised, to take just two examples of administration lawlessness. But while Acosta’s record covering up for a depraved plutocrat makes him a good fit for the Trump administration, it should disqualify him from public service.

Given what’s been uncovered here, I’ll be really surprised if Acosta is still in his job a few months from now.  But the fact that this is a metaphorical buried in the paper story really speaks to the “scandal fatigue” of the Trump administration.  It is literally difficult to keep up with and pay attention to all the awfulness going on in the swampiest swamp ever (it’s like there’s mutant 30 foot alligators in there).

About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State

2 Responses to The best evidence yet for too many scandals

  1. R. Jenrette says:

    Investigation by the FBI showed that hundreds of 15 and 16 year old girls were abused in a country wide scheme to protect the wealthy business men who participated. The investigation was shut down by Acosta who granted immunity to Epstein and to his associates. This despite a Florida victims’ law that required notification to the victims when such a case was closed. There was no such notification.
    There is a law suit now claiming that the grants of Immunity given are illegal because victims were not notified. We’ll see how it goes. Acosta was responsible for the immunity grants as he was the chief prosecutor in that Florida district. How wealthy men get away with anything.

  2. Jim Nickelson says:

    The sad and terrible irony of of a major scandal on Republican child molesters is lost on most Republicans. Like all the other scandals they accused Obama and Clinton of, were never able to provide any evidence for, yet are constantly doing themselves.

    Hypocrites of the worst kind.

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