The former Palm Beach County state attorney is disputing Labor Secretary Alex Acosta‘s account of why he signed off on a secret sex trafficking plea deal involving now-jailed financier Jeffrey Epstein.
Acosta insisted Wednesday that the deal in which Epstein pleaded guilty to lesser state charges was the toughest he could have gotten at the time. And he said prosecutors were working to avoid a more lenient arrangement that would have allowed Epstein to “walk free.”
But Barry Krischer, who was in office at the time, says Acosta’s recollection “is completely wrong.”
Krischer, a Democrat, said that the U.S. attorney’s office’s always had the ability to file its own federal charges and that a lengthy indictment was prepared but “abandoned after secret negotiations between Mr. Epstein’s lawyers and Mr. Acosta.”
WATCH: Billionaire Jeffrey Epstein pleads not guilty to sex charges involving minors