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Acosta resigns as Labor Secretary

Photo credit: Gage Skidmore

July 13, 2019

On Friday, Alexander Acosta announced that he will resign due to scrutiny he is facing around the Epstein scandal.

In his announcement, Acosta said he had phoned President Donald Trump to let him know of his intention to resign. Acosta said he did not want the scrutiny he is facing in the Epstein scandal to consume the Trump administration.

“Alex Acosta informed me this morning that he felt the constant drumbeat of press about a prosecution which took place under his watch more than 12 years ago was bad for the Administration, which he so strongly believes in, and he graciously tendered his resignation,” the president tweeted.

“Alex was a great Secretary of Labor and his service is truly appreciated. He will be replaced on an acting basis by Pat Pizzella, the current Deputy Secretary.”

Acosta was a U.S. attorney who oversaw the lenient plea deal that Jeffrey Epstein received after allegedly engaging in sexual acts with girls as young as 14 and using young women to recruit other girls to be part of an alleged sex trafficking ring. The deal gave Epstein 18 months of jail time (of which he only served 13 months) and required him to register as a sex offender.

Acosta has since defended the deal, saying that it was his office that secured jail time and Epstein’s registration as a sex offender, two requirements he said would otherwise not have been given to Epstein. According to a report from The Daily Beast, Acosta said he was told that Epstein “belonged to intelligence” and to “leave it alone.”

In February, a federal judge ruled that prosecutors involved in the case violated the Crime Victims Rights Act by not informing Epstein’s victims of the plea deal. The matter is being reviewed by the Department of Justice’s Office of Professional Responsibility.

– MK. II

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