Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz dodged questions multiple times Tuesday about whether Secretary of Labor Alex Acosta should resign from office.
The Texas senator spoke on Fox News about Acosta’s involvement in a 2008 plea deal that helped financier Jeffrey Epstein avoid federal charges involving the alleged sexual abuse of dozens of teenage girls, according to CBS News. Epstein is now facing a 45-year maximum sentence for child sex-trafficking.
Acosta’s office reached a plea deal with Epstein in 2008 that ended the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s probe into whether there were more victims and granted immunity to co-conspirators.
Acosta’s office also agreed to keep the plea deal secret from the victims. A federal judge ruled in 2017 that keeping the plea deal a secret was illegal and in violation of the Crime Victim Rights Act.
Epstein registered as a sex offender and authorities sentenced him to 13 months in jail, although they allowed him work release privileges. Epstein also paid settlements to victims, according to CBS News.
“Look, he was the U.S. attorney,” Cruz said. (RELATED: Trump’s Labor Secretary Under Fire Again For Sweetheart Deal With Jeffrey Epstein)
“I’m concerned about the allegations, but the Department of Justice has an ongoing investigation. I think we should find out what happened.”
He went on to say the “toughest penalty” should have been put on Epstein based on evidence.
“I think we should have imposed the toughest penalty we could have based on the evidence,” Cruz added. “And I think we need to inquire if we did that.”
Fully agree. Epstein’s conduct was despicable, and everyone who participated should be vigorously prosecuted. https://t.co/84X4bNytvr
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) July 8, 2019
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