Reprinted with permission from DCReport
Add child sex traffickers to Trump's basket of deplorables. Under his watch, federal prosecutions of that class of criminals have declined significantly.
In Trump's four years in office, both federal prosecutions against child sex traffickers, and the proportion of criminal referrals for child sex trafficking on which charges were brought, have both dropped, according to new data from the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), a nonpartisan research effort by Syracuse University. That's a total reversal of how things were handled under President Obama; numbers on both counts climbed steadily.
This isn't surprising, considering what we know about Donald J. Trump. He once walked into the changing room of a Miss Teen USA beauty pageant while contestants – some as young as 15 – were in various stages of undress.
Trump claims that's his right. "I'll go backstage before a show and everyone's getting dressed," Trump told Howard Stern on his radio show. "I'm allowed to go in, because I'm the owner of the pageant and therefore I'm inspecting it… 'Is everyone OK'? You know, they're standing there with no clothes. 'Is everybody OK?' And you see these incredible looking women, and so I sort of get away with things like that."
He is known to have partied with the late child rapist Jeffrey Epstein – once alone with him and 28 'girls' at his Mar-a-Lago estate in the early 1990s. He once said of the poster boy for child sex trafficking and abuse, "I've known Jeff for 15 years. Terrific Guy. 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."
Earlier this year when law enforcement finally snagged Epstein's partner in crime, Ghislaine Maxwell, who allegedly baited, groomed and molested underage girls herself, Trump said at a press conference on the coronavirus pandemic that he "wished her well."
And these are only the stories we know about.
So, while it's not shocking his administration has turned its back on the growing problem of child sex trafficking – just last year only 37 percent of cases were prosecuted. It is unconscionable.
Trump's scorecard against child sex traffickers is the worst in two decades. During the Obama administration, almost half of all criminal referrals were prosecuted. That compares with the Bush administration which prosecuted 46 percent. Trump's dismal record shows prosecutors chose to file charges in just 43 percent of cases over the past four years.
The reason given by federal attorneys for not prosecuting cases in fiscal year 2020? The good ole law-enforcement get-out-of-jail-free plum of too little evidence, according to TRAC. And if that didn't fit the bill, attorneys cited "a need to prioritize federal resources and interests."
It's too bad the clock's running out on this election. Because Trump's new campaign slogan could be, "We care about the wall, not the small."