Three 2020 Democratic presidential candidates skipped a Senate hearing Tuesday on ways to protect children from predators on the same day they called for Labor Secretary Alex Acosta to step down over his connection to Jeffrey Epstein, a registered sex offender.
Sens. Cory Booker of New Jersey, Kamala Harris of California and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota all tweeted Tuesday that Acosta should step down after he cut billionaire Epstein an easy deal for two felony prostitution charges, one with a minor, in 2008. Epstein was arrested again on Saturday for allegedly sex trafficking minors between 2002 and 2005.
Despite Booker, Harris and Klobuchar showing outrage of Acosta’s involvement in helping a child predator remain free, they failed to attend the “Protecting Innocence In A Digital World” hearing held by the Senate Judiciary Committee, which discussed how to make the internet safer for children. The hearing also included talks on child predators. All three Sens. are members of the committee.
The three candidates tweeted their calls for Acosta to step down because of his involvement with a sex offender. (RELATED: Epstein Pleads Not Guilty To Charges Of Sex Trafficking Minors)
“Acosta should step down,” Booker tweeted Tuesday.
Acosta should step down. https://t.co/NETzrtPIHk
— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) July 9, 2019
“I didn’t vote for former Florida U.S. Attorney Acosta to begin with and he should step down,” Klobuchar’s tweet read.
Since when do underage girl sex ring traffickers get to go to their office every day while they serve their time? The victims should have had a say. That’s what the law says. I didn’t vote for former Florida U.S. Attorney Acosta to begin with and he should step down.
— Amy Klobuchar (@amyklobuchar) July 9, 2019
“Alex Acosta should resign as Labor Secretary,” Harris tweeted.
Alex Acosta should resign as Labor Secretary. We need leaders committed to fighting for justice for survivors of abuse, not protecting predators.
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) July 9, 2019
“And yet, predators are communicating with our children every day,” said Duffie Stone, the 14th Judicial Circuit Solicitor, at the hearing. “They are coming into our child’s bedrooms. They are coming into our house, past the locked doors, the cameras and the security systems. How are they getting in? The internet. Our children, sometimes unknowingly, invite them in with their cell phones and computers.”
With Acosta’s deal in 2008, Epstein was sentenced to 18 months in county jail, had to register as a sex offender and had to pay restitution to his victims. He only served 13 months of the sentence on a work-release program that allowed him to continue working at his office in Florida, according to USA Today.
Booker, Harris and Klobuchar did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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