Democratic New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez demanded that Department of Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta resign Tuesday over his handling of financier Jeffrey Epstein’s sex trafficking case in 2008.
“Acosta cannot remain as Secretary of Labor and should resign,” Menendez wrote on Twitter.
The call for Acosta’s resignation comes as U.S. Attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York unsealed an indictment charging Epstein with child sex trafficking. The indictment alleges that the disgraced businessman “created a vast network of underage victims for him to sexually exploit” and further “enticed and recruited” underage girls to visit him.
Epstein faced similar allegations of sexually abusing minors more than a decade ago. After brokering a sweetheart deal with Acosta, who then served as U.S. attorney for the southern district of Florida, Epstein received a 13-month sentence for pleading guilty to solicitation of underage prostitutes.
Despite Menendez’s calls for Acosta to resign, allegations of his own sexual liaisons with underage prostitutes have been swirling around the New Jersey senator for years. (RELATED: New Jersey Newspaper Endorses Bob Menendez: ‘Choke It Down’)
Menendez faced a lengthy indictment in 2017, which included 18 charges for bribery, conspiracy, honest services fraud, bribery over state lines and making false statements on federally-mandated financial disclosures forms.
The Justice Department’s court filings during the trial outline allegations that Menendez hired underage female prostitutes while visiting the Dominican Republic. The accusations have not been substantiated.
Menendez joins a growing list of lawmakers calling on Acosta to step down. Top Democratic leaders, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer both demanded his resignation earlier in the week.
Menendez’s office refused comment when contacted by the Daily Caller News Foundation.
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