Acosta resigns after criticism over Epstein deal
by Kyle Ziemnick
Posted 7/12/19, 11:01 am
WASHINGTON—Secretary of Labor Alex Acosta resigned from his post Friday morning following public scrutiny of his involvement with a plea bargain agreement for billionaire Jeffrey Epstein more than a decade ago. President Donald Trump announced the resignation, effective in a week, with Acosta standing next to him. Acosta said that he did not want his handling of the Epstein case to distract from the work of the Labor Department and that the focus should instead be on the strength of the U.S. economy. “I hate to see this happen,” Trump said.
In 2008, Acosta worked in South Florida as a federal prosecutor and oversaw a then-secret plea deal that allowed Epstein to avoid federal prosecution for molesting numerous teenage girls and spend only 13 months in jail on charges of soliciting prostitution. Epstein was arrested last week on charges of operating a sex trafficking ring that targeted girls as young as 14. Acosta said in a news conference on Wednesday that he had gotten the best deal he could with Epstein under the circumstances.
Acosta has served as the head of the Labor Department since early 2017.
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