California Congresswoman Jackie Speier’s guest at Tuesday’s State of the Union address will be Courtney Wild, who was molested by wealthy Palm Beach sex criminal Jeffrey Epstein when she was a girl and after whom a victim’s rights bill is named.
It is a Washington tradition, especially in recent years, for lawmakers to use their State of the Union guest invitations to make a political statement.
“I’m nervous but super excited,” Wild said Monday. “I still can’t wrap my mind around it. I think it shows that we have come a long way. Hopefully, at the end of it, I would really like to give back to educate our children about sexual abuse and awareness. That’s my goal.
“It’s like giving me a second chance at life.”
Speier is one of the sponsors of the Courtney Wild Crime Victims’ Rights Reform Act of 2019, a legislative proposal designed to prevent a recurrence of Epstein’s lightly punitive plea deal and make prosecutors subject to professional punishment for failing to protect crime victims.
The Miami Herald’s Perversion of Justice series reported that prosecutors agreed to the plea deal not only without consultation with the victims, but while actively keeping details of the arrangement from them. That deal — engineered by South Florida U.S. Attorney Alexander Acosta, later President Trump’s labor secretary — violated the current Crime Victims Rights Act, ruled U.S. District Judge Kenneth Marra last February.
Epstein was found hanging in a New York federal prison in August after a wave of federal sex trafficking charges had been filed against him, relating to his actions from the previous decade.
Speier is part of the Democratic Women’s Caucus that recently sent a letter to President Trump criticizing what they called his “continuing derogation of women in your rhetoric and policies.”
The letter followed a confrontation between Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and a reporter for NPR, Mary Louise Kelly. Pompeo said he was blindsided by Kelly questioning him about the president’s actions in Ukraine.sonos sonos One (Gen 2) - Voice Controlled Smart Speaker with Amazon Alexa Built-in - Black read more
During an off-the-record chat after the formal interview, Kelly said Pompeo yelled at her, used the F-word and demanded that Kelly find Ukraine on a map lacking country labels. Kelly, who has a master’s degree in European Studies, was able to do so.
Later, at a public gathering, Trump told Pompeo “you did a good job on her.”
The letter signed by Speier and others said: “Beyond your public policy choices...your words demonstrate a contempt for women who dare to do their jobs or speak truth to power which reflects poorly on you. It is as if you relish the opportunity to publicly humiliate any woman who fights back, speaks up, or takes up space.”
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