Politics live updates: 'I am not the president's lawyer,' Garland says in confirmation hearing

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Merrick Garland, the nominee to become the country’s law enforcement officer as attorney general, called the treatment of sex-trafficking suspect Jeffrey Epstein “horrendous,” but said he couldn’t comment on why the Justice Department acted the way it did.

Epstein, who died by suicide in jail, was indicted in 2019 on suspicion of sexually exploiting and abusing dozens of minor girls at his homes in New York and Florida. Federal prosecutors in New York alleged that for years, Epstein paid some of his victims to recruit more underage girls.

But the charges came years after former U.S. Attorney Alexander Acosta resolved a sex-crimes case through a non-prosecution deal without notifying his alleged victims. A Justice Department investigation found Acosta showed “poor judgment,” but Acosta said the review debunked allegations he cut a “sweetheart deal.” 

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