A House Democrat asserted during a passionate moment at a weekly press conference on Tuesday that former President Donald Trump ‘should withdraw from the race’ and alleged he was seen on ‘multiple flights with [Jeffrey] Epstein, accompanied by young girls.’

Representative Ted Lieu (D-Calif.), speaking in Washington, D.C., where he has represented California’s 33rd and 36th Congressional Districts since 2015, spoke bluntly.

‘We hear a lot from our constituents on various issues, but one thing I’ve noticed that hasn’t received much coverage are the Epstein files,’ Lieu began. ‘These files, which have been released, heavily involve Donald Trump.’

Lieu claimed the files included photographs of Trump with the convicted sex offender. ‘He has been on multiple flights with Epstein, where young girls were present,’ Lieu stated. ‘He is listed on call logs with Epstein.’

‘One of the top trending hashtags on Twitter right now involves Trump and Epstein,’ Lieu continued. ‘I won’t repeat the hashtag because it would give it undue attention.’

He characterized the revelations from the files as ‘extremely disturbing,’ adding, ‘Once again, this underscores that Donald Trump is unfit for office.’

Lieu concluded by asserting, ‘Furthermore, he has been convicted in a civilian court of sexual assault, along with 34 felony convictions. Donald Trump should step down from the race.’

Trump currently leads President Joe Biden in recent polls in critical swing states. The 2024 presidential contest is expected to feature a rematch between them, with calls for alternative candidates growing louder in both parties—particularly among Democrats following Biden’s lackluster debate performance against Trump on June 27. Trump, 78, and Biden, 81, are both considered too old by many to seek office.

The convictions Lieu referenced included 34 felony counts for falsifying business records, issued this May, and a civil trial in which Trump was found liable for sexually assaulting writer E. Jean Carroll in a Manhattan department store in 1996.

A jury awarded Carroll $5 million in damages in May 2023. She later received an additional $83.3 million after winning a defamation suit against Trump in early 2024, alleging he had defamed her with comments made during and after his presidency, in response to her rape accusation.

The 34 felony convictions stemmed from the historic hush-money trial in Manhattan, where Trump faced 34 charges of falsifying business records to cover up a payment made to his former attorney and fixer, Michael Cohen. Cohen testified against Trump in the trial.

Cohen had paid porn star Stormy Daniels $130,000 after she threatened to expose her 2006 affair with Trump at a Nevada resort. Prosecutors claimed the claim could harm Trump’s ability to win the White House in 2016, and he authorized Cohen to pay Daniels to silence her, prosecutors said.

A Manhattan jury found the former president guilty on all 34 felony counts, making him the first former U.S. president to be convicted of a felony.

Lieu has long been critical of Trump and has claimed for years that the former president was associated with Epstein, who died by suicide in his prison cell in 2019. In mid-August of that year, shortly after Epstein’s death, Lieu sharply criticized Trump on X, tagging him: ‘Hey @realDonaldTrump, you were friends with Jeffrey Epstein and attended parties with him. His death occurred under your administration. Before you tweet out conspiracy theories, you may want to consult with your Attorney General Bill Barr and the head of the Federal Bureau of Prisons.’

Epstein was charged with trafficking minors for sex and conspiring to do so, according to the Southern District of New York Attorney’s Office. Lieu’s remarks on Tuesday came nearly five years after the explosive charges were announced.

‘The indictment unsealed today alleges that between 2002 and 2005, EPSTEIN sexually exploited and abused dozens of minors by enticing them into sex acts with him in exchange for money,’ the statement said. ‘Epstein allegedly worked with several employees and associates to ensure he had a steady supply of minor victims to abuse and paid some victims themselves to recruit other minors to engage in similar sex acts for money. He committed these offenses in locations such as New York, New York, and Palm Beach, Florida.’

Epstein was convicted of sexual offenses in Florida in 2008 and served a prison sentence but was later released. A decade passed before the explosive charges were revealed by the Southern District of New York Attorney’s Office on July 8, 2019.

The statement continued: ‘From at least 2002 to at least 2005, JEFFREY EPSTEIN enticed and recruited dozens of minor girls to visit his New York mansion (the ‘New York Residence’) and his Palm Beach estate (the ‘Palm Beach Residence’) to engage in sex acts with him, after which he paid victims hundreds of dollars in cash.

‘In order to maintain and expand his victim pool, EPSTEIN also paid certain victims to recruit additional underage girls whom he could exploit sexually, often on a daily basis, in places like New York and Palm Beach.

‘EPSTEIN’s victims were as young as 14 when he abused them, and for various reasons, they were often particularly vulnerable to exploitation. Moreover, EPSTEIN knew many victims were under 18, including some who explicitly informed him they were minors.’

On July 2, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, signed into law Florida House Bill 117, which, according to a statement from DeSantis’ office, “allows for the release of grand jury documents to the public, such as those related to a 2006 investigation into Jeffrey Epstein in Florida.”

Two of Epstein’s alleged victims attended DeSantis’ signing last week. According to the statement, the governor said, “The public deserves to know who participated in Jeffrey Epstein’s sex trafficking. No one should be protected from facing justice due to their wealth or status, and those who harm children should be exposed and punished to the fullest extent of the law.”

The transcripts were released that day, showing that Epstein reached a plea deal with prosecutors that has long been criticized as too lenient and allowed him to avoid prison.

When a new wave of Epstein case documents was released in January this year, Donald Trump’s name appeared repeatedly in the documents—he allegedly had a close relationship with Epstein.

But Trump has long denied any involvement with Epstein, even calling out actor Mark Ruffalo in January, shortly after the revealing documents were released, for reposting A.I.-generated photos that allegedly showed Trump on Epstein’s plane.

It was later revealed that the images were created using A.I. Ruffalo captioned his post, “Disgusting. #MAGA wants to paint everyone on those flights as pedophiles, except for the one guy who smiles in a group of young girls all headed to Epstein’s ‘Fantasy Island’ with him. My guess is some decent Republicans in America think this has gone too far.”

Trump responded on his Truth Social account, writing, “This is what the Democrats do to their Republican opponents, who are leading them by a wide margin in the polls. This is A.I., and it’s very dangerous for our country!”