Labor Secretary Acosta resigns amid Epstein deal scrutiny

National and World

Acosta says stepping aside was the right decision

FILE- In this July 30, 2008 file photo, Jeffrey Epstein is shown in custody in West Palm Beach, Fla. Labor Secretary nominee Alexander Acosta is expected to face questions at his Senate confirmation hearing about an unusual plea deal he oversaw for Epstein, a Florida billionaire and sex offender, as U.S. attorney in Miami. Federal prosecutors say a once-secret plea deal reached over a decade ago with Epstein must stand, despite objections from many of his victims. Prosecutors said in a new court filing that a violation of the Crime Victims’ Rights Act does not allow for the agreement to be voided. (Uma Sanghvi/Palm Beach Post via AP)

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump says Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta is stepping down following criticism of his handling of a plea deal with a wealthy financier Jeffrey Epstein, who is accused of sexually abusing dozens of underage girls.

Trump announced the news with Acosta by his side at the White House as Trump left on a trip to the Midwest.

Acosta says stepping aside was the right decision.

He was the U.S. attorney in Miami when he oversaw a 2008 nonprosecution agreement with Epstein. Epstein avoided federal charges and served 13 months in jail.

Similar charges recently filed against Epstein by federal prosecutors in New York had put Acosta’s role in the 2008 deal under renewed scrutiny.

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07/12/19 09:49:32 (GMT -4:00)

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