Federal Judge Overseeing Release of Jeffrey Epstein’s Sealed Records Found Dead
Robert Sweet, a federal judge presiding over a key lawsuit relating to wealthy, Clinton-connected financier Jeffrey Epstein, was found dead on Sunday. No cause of death has been announced.
Foxnews reported: Robert W. Sweet died at his home in Ketchum, Idaho, while on vacation, The New York Times reported. He was appointed by President Jimmy Carter in 1978. Politico reportedthat Sweet was presiding over the lawsuit that followed what many saw as an unusual plea deal for Jeffrey Epstein.
Alexander Acosta, the current U.S. Secretary of Labor, negotiated what critics called a sweetheart, potentially corrupt plea deal with Jeffrey Epstein when he was the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Florida. The arrangement required Epstein to pay restitution to dozens of victims, but offered a variety of unusual concessions as part of a non-prosecution agreement.
Epstein, now 66, reached a nonprosecution deal in 2008 with Acosta’s office to secretly end a federal sex abuse investigation involving at least 40 teenage girls that could have landed him behind bars for life. He instead pleaded guilty to state charges, spent 13 months in jail, paid settlements to victims and is a registered sex offender.
— New York Post (@nypost) March 25, 2019
Politico reported that Sweet was overseeing a suit leveled by one of Epstein’s alleged victims against one of his longtime friends:
Sweet was assigned to a lawsuit that emerged from the aftermath of Epstein’s controversial plea deal a decade ago, in which he escaped federal charges by pleading guilty to two prostitution-related offenses in state court. Epstein ended up spending 13 months in jail, with daily furloughs that allowed him to work in his office.
Critics have denounced the plea deal and the government official who negotiated it: Alexander Acosta, then the top federal prosecutor in south Florida and now U.S. secretary of Labor. The sentence, critics say, was excessively lenient for a man who faced allegations of procuring dozens of teenage girls for sex acts.
Acosta has defended the deal as appropriate but has not commented since the recent round of stories.