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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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Kyle Ziemnick

Kyle is a WORLD Digital news reporter. He is a World Journalism Institute and Patrick Henry College graduate. Kyle resides in Purcellville, Va. Follow him on Twitter @kylezim25.

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  • JHD
    Posted: Sat, 07/13/2019 01:55 pm

    I have been involved with child advocacy for sexually molested children for 20 years.  One could hope this high profile case could help bring about better outcomes in the best interest of children and society. "Plea bargain" sounds like getting off easy, sweeping things under the rug, but like Mr Acosta said, Mr Epstein now has a criminal record, is a registered sex offender and the victims have grounds for civil lawsuits. Putting children (or anyone) through the courts revictimizes them as they need to face this abusive, manipulative man and his hard as nails lawyers. As hard as it is to swallow, a plea bargain is often the best outcome.