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Sen. Schumer will donate campaign contributions from accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein to charity

Key Points
  • New York Sen. Chuck Schumer will offset more than $7,000 in campaign contributions from accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein by donating the money to anti-sex trafficking and anti-violence against women groups.
  • Epstein gave a total of $7,000 to Schumer between 1992 and 1997, split across seven $1,000 donations, according to Open Secrets, as well as to Schumer-related PACs.
  • Schumer is just one of several politicians to receive donations from Epstein.
Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer speak to the media following a meeting with US President Donald Trump about the partial government shutdown at the White House in Washington, DC, January 9, 2019.
Saul Loeb | AFP | Getty Images

New York Sen. Chuck Schumer will offset more than $7,000 in campaign contributions from accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein by donating the money to anti-sex trafficking and anti-violence against women groups.

Epstein gave seven $1,000 donations to Schumer between 1992 and 1997, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics, and gave more to Schumer-related PACs.

"While these campaign accounts closed about 20 years ago, and even then the campaign never controlled the two political action committees (PACs), Senator Schumer is donating an equal sum to anti-sex trafficking and anti-violence against women groups," Schumer spokesman Justin Goodman said in a statement to NBC News.

New York prosecutors charged Epstein with sex trafficking dozens of underage girls on his properties in New York and Florida in an indictment unsealed Monday. He has pleaded not guilty and is being held without bail.

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Labor Secretary Acosta defends Epstein plea deal

Epstein did not donate exclusively to Schumer. He also gave a total of $2,000 to Schumer's opponent, then-Senator Al D'Amato, who Schumer unseated in 1998.

Schumer, the Senate minority leader, on Tuesday called on Labor Department Secretary Alex Acosta to resign, or failing that, for Trump to fire him.

Acosta more than a decade ago was the top federal prosecutor in Miami, and at that time cut a sweetheart deal with Epstein that let the money manager avoid being charged with federal crimes.

Acosta did not inform Epstein's accusers of the non-prosecution agreement until it was submitted in court. A judge earlier this year said Acosta and DOJ lawyers violated federal law by not telling Epstein's accusers about the deal.

It is "now impossible for anyone to have confidence in Secretary Acosta's ability to lead the Department of Labor. If he refuses to resign, President Trump should fire him," Schumer said on the senate floor.

Schumer did not immediately return CNBC's request for further comment.

Schumer and D'Amato are just two of the politicians to receive donations from Epstein. Others include former President Bill Clinton, former Sens. John Kerry and Bob Dole and former Ohio Gov. John Kasich, records show.

Democratic Rep. Stacey Plaskett, who Open Secrets said received $8,100 from Epstein, announced Tuesday that she would donate money from Epstein, a day after a spokesman told CNBC she'd keep the donations. Plaskett represents the Virgin Islands.

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Key Points
  • Democratic congresswoman Stacey Plaskett has decided to reverse course and will give away the contributions she has received from Jeffrey Epstein, who is accused of child sex trafficking.
  • The move comes a day after her team told CNBC that she was unlikely to return the campaign donations after Epstein's arrest in New York.
  • "In light of new information and allegations that have been made against Jeffrey Epstein I have decided to make contributions to Virgin Islands organizations that work with women and children in the amount of his previous contributions," Plaskett said in a statement.