Alex Acosta might have to answer for his kindness to criminals

Jeffrey Epstein with some random people

Trump’s Secretary of Labor, Alex Acosta, may be in some trouble (but then, the only reason you’d be affiliated with Trump is if you’ve something seedy in your past). The Department of Justice is investigating him for his role in the sweetheart plea deal he gave convicted child molester Jeffrey Epstein in 2008. Epstein, a billionaire, was known for his patronage of scientists and atheists in the early years of the 21st century, although that was later overshadowed by his habit of picking up young adolescent girls and paying them for sex in his mansion, or on flights on his private plane with famous people.

He hobnobbed with all kinds of celebrities.

Jeffrey Epstein with some other random people

He was also known for giving various well-known scientists and atheists free trips around the country, like this flight to a TED talk.

A few random people on board Jeffrey Epstein’s private jet, scene of many scandalous romps

Finally, at least one of his associates, Alex Acosta, may be facing some justice. Although it seems that usually anyone touched by this “person of means” gets away mostly unscathed, so don’t count on it.

Except for the girls, of course. They get scathed and forgotten.


  1. kebil says

    As much as I don’t agree with some of the people in these pictures, I wish I had not seen these pictures. It is tempting to think the worst of these associations, but not all of Epstein’s were necessarily pedophiles.

  2. wajim says

    Count me dense (or merely uninformed of who’s who in the atheist/scientist rock star crowd), but other than Dawkins in that last photo on the jet, who are the others?

  3. skeptic says

    Clearly it is to cast aspersions against those pictured. The motivation for that is unclear.

  4. kingoftown says

    It’s really disturbing what the rich and powerful can get away with. The case against Prince Andrew seems strong to me, yet he has never faced trial.

  5. says

    I don’t think most of the people portrayed, other than Epstein, would have participated in his criminal activities…yet, still, some of them made excuses for him, most didn’t protest at all, and all were happy to accept his money and support. They would pose for photo-ops with a rapist. That’s how the rich can get away with it.

  6. chigau (違う) says

    How many languages/cultures have a proverb about:
    lie down with dogs, wake up with fleas
    you are known by the company you keep
    Serious question. Right now (22:20 MST, UTC-7) I have internet issues
    see you tomorrow

  7. robro says

    PZ @ #6 — Probably true. However, part of the Prince Andrew story is that there were “papers filed” (rumors?) that Epstein had cameras set up around his place to secretly film his prominent guests having sex with girls, potentially to blackmail them. Also, several of his friends…I recall Lawrence Krauss being one of them…made catty remarks that indicate that they were at least aware of his proclivity for young girls.

    What really gets me about this story is that I first read about it in 2016 and several times since. There’s not much new information, so the basic narrative was already there. I’m glad the DoJ has finally gotten around to looking into Acosta’s role.

    Perhaps someone should look into the role of the Florida Attorney Generals during this period, particularly Charley Crist, Bill McCollum, and Pam Bondi, all of them Republicans. These Florida AGs appear to have played a part in helping Epstein get off. In fact, I think the first time I heard about this was in 2016 when Pam Bondi was in the news related to money and the Trump campaign.

  8. cvoinescu says

    chigau @ #7: Tell me whom you befriend, so that I tell you who you are. (It rhymes in the original Romanian.)

  9. says

    chigau @ #7
    And there’s always that bit of Irish doggrel

    It was a year ago, September
    a day I well remember
    I was walking up and down
    in drunken pride
    when my knees began to flutter
    and I fell down in the gutter
    and a pig came by and lay down by my side

    As I lay there in the gutter
    thinking thoughts I could not utter
    I thought I heard a passing lady say,
    “You can tell a man who boozes
    by the company he chooses…”
    And with that, the pig got up and walked away

  10. mistershelden says

    A certain new york property hoarder was certainly involved in some of Epstein’s more unpleasant party activities:

    The president said: “I’ve known Jeff for fifteen years. Terrific guy,” Trump booms from a speakerphone. “He’s a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side. No doubt about it — Jeffrey enjoys his social life.”

  11. says

    chigau (違う) @ 7:

    How many languages/cultures have a proverb about:
    lie down with dogs, wake up with fleas
    you are known by the company you keep

    In Irish, it is Athnaíonn ciaróg ciaróg eile which literally translates as, “a beetle recognises another beetle”. Serious slur on the coleoptera in this situation, IMO.

  12. rq says

    In Latvian you can just say, Tāds tādu atrod. Closest reasonable translation would be “Like attracts like”. More correct would be “One of a certain kind finds another of that certain kind”, I guess.

    I like the Irish version, Cat Mara.

  13. Azkyroth, B*Cos[F(u)]==Y says

    “a beetle recognises another beetle”

    Oh, right, like THAT narrows it down. :P

  14. wzrd1 says

    chigau @ #7: I’ve hung out with everyone from Generals and diplomats through CEO’s and homeless people, preferring the company of the average lower middle class, where suggestions have more fruit.
    Alas, there is one contact report I must admit to, as in regards to Trump. In the neighborhood of Y2K +- a few years, we ran into him at a tri-state Chamber of Commerce function.
    An event that suffered an odd 80% attrition rate the following year.
    Meeting him in person at such a function, it’s worse than what gets aired on television.
    What you see is what you get with him, utterly mercurial, self-informed and much, via rectally procured “facts”, even before unreality TV became a thing.

    Oddly, he had declined invitation, I learned later, when the event was to be held within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, forcing a shift of venue and barely avoiding being hosted at one of his sites, which would’ve restricted attendance at the event massively.
    PA was and remains an open carry state, not that we bother, although, at the time, I was a concealed carry permit holder.*

    *Around month nine, I realized what a royal PIA it was to keep cleaning that which isn’t used and honestly, would require a criminal to be quite sporting to allow me to draw my own to equalize the odds and the much higher risk of losing that weapon to a criminal, to be sold and used in other, more violent crimes.

    Good night all, began the non-joy of a nasty cold on Saturday, by Sunday, stidor was present on cough expiration, Today, it was so severe, a GS type ran around the island of our cubicles to see to my welfare.
    If it’s still present tomorrow, it’s doctor time.
    Minimal fever, cytokine storm largely absent (I’ve had an odd immune response within the building and also at “home” (hotel room, not moving until a specific parasite is eliminated and now, it’s personal and biological warfare will be utilized against those fucking bedbugs). Won’t charge the hotel a cent for our room, it’s now a matter of honor.
    And practicality, I don’t see this low rent motel paying for full extermination, so any residual bedbugs that survive become our new tenants alongside of us.
    That’s my cost – benefit analysis, under a military thinking context.