Filmmaker Mike Cernovich, Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz, and media organizations will fight on Wednesday to unseal information regarding Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta’s controversial plea deal for billionaire Jeffrey Epstein, who was accused of allegedly running an underage prostitution ring.
In February, a judge ruled that then-U.S. attorney for south Florida Acosta and other prosecutors violated federal law by failing to consult with Epstein’s victims before entering into a plea deal that ruled out federal charges and led to the billionaire pleading guilty to two felony charges in state court.
Virginia Guiffre, who claims that she was lured into a sex-trafficking ring run by billionaire Jeffrey Epstein when she was a teenager, filed a civil lawsuit against the former hedge fund manager.
The Wednesday oral arguments focus on records amassed as part of Giuffre’s suit against Epstein associate, Ghislaine Maxwell, who Giuffre accused of facilitating his practice of hiring teenage girls to give “massages” that often included sexual acts.
Maxwell denied the allegations but settled the lawsuit for an undisclosed amount in 2017. Now, a group of journalists, lawyers, and media organizations have aligned to ask the federal judge to unseal much of the information lawyers gathered while preparing for the Giuffre civil suit.
Filmmaker, journalist, and writer of MAGA Mindset Mike Cernovich, Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz, and several media organizations and outlets have worked towards the disclosure of the Giuffre documents.
Cernovich said he was amazed when he started investigating Giuffre’s suit and was astonished by the scope of the secrecy surrounding the civil suit. Cernovich added that large parts of the suit were blacked out.
In one tweet Wednesday, Cernovich described the suit as the “biggest free press case of the year!”
Oral argument in the Jeff Epstein lawsuit will be held today!
Thurgood Marshall U.S. Courthouse,
40 Foley Square,
New York, NY, 10007,
17th Floor, Room 1703
Biggest free press case of the year!https://t.co/EWsMS0IX5E
— Mike Cernovich | 📽 (@Cernovich) March 6, 2019
The Miami Herald joined the coalition last April and filed a similar motion to unseal everything filed in the Giuffre suit.
U.S. District Court Judge Robert Sweet, who presided over the Giuffre case, denied all of the unsealing requests. Sweet said that due to the sensitive subject of the suit, allegations of sexual abuse of minors, the case merited protection of the case material.
Lawyers for Maxwell continue to oppose the unsealing. Giuffre’s attorneys initially objected to the unsealing proposed by Cernovich and Dershowitz, but, they now say they favor substantial unsealing of the records.
New disclosures could inflame controversy around Acosta, who has continued to defend his unorthodox federal non-prosecution agreement that was part of the Epstein deal. Acosta said that the resolution was appropriate resolution given the evidence available, but he admitted that prosecutors faced immense pressure from the high-powered defense team and lamented the relatively small punishment Epstein received: 13 months in jail, much of it Epstein spent at his Palm Beach, Florida, office.
“At the end of the day, based on the evidence, professionals within a prosecutor’s office decided that a plea that guarantees someone goes to jail, that guarantees he register generally [as a sexual predator] and guarantees other outcomes, is a good thing,” Acosta said at his 2017 Senate confirmation hearing.
After February’s court ruling, a White House spokeswoman said that officials were “looking into” Acosta’s role. When asked about the Epstein case, Trump said that he did not know much about the Acosta’s involvement in the Epstein case.
“I really don’t know too much about it,” Trump said. “I know he’s done a great job as labor secretary. And that seems like a long time ago.”