Labor Secretary Acosta to Resign Amid Epstein Abuse Scandal

He’ll formally step down in a week.

Andrew Harrer/ZUMA

President Donald Trump on Friday announced that Labor Secretary Alex Acosta will step down from his post amid renewed scrutiny over his role in overseeing a 2007 plea deal for Jeffrey Epstein over allegations he sexually abused underage girls.

Trump and Acosta appeared together at the White House to announce the resignation.

Epstein’s arrest on Sunday for similar charges to the ones he faced more than a decade ago had prompted immediate calls for Acosta’s resignation over his involvement in a controversial non-prosecution deal that allowed Epstein to avoid a full federal investigation and possible life sentence. 

In a news conference on Wednesday, Acosta defended his handling of the deal. He declined to offer an apology to Epstein’s victims and instead appeared to blame other prosecutors involved in the non-plea agreement for the decision not to inform victims of the deal.

Trump had previously said that he felt “very badly” for Acosta over the renewed scandal.

This is a breaking news post. We will update as more information becomes available.

$500,000 MATCHING GIFT

In 2014, before Donald Trump announced his run for president, we knew we had to do something different to address the fundamental challenge facing journalism: how hard-hitting reporting that can hold the powerful accountable can survive as the bottom falls out of the news business.

Being a nonprofit, we started planning The Moment for Mother Jones: A special campaign to raise $25 million for key investments to make Mother Jones the strongest watchdog it can be. Five years later, readers have stepped up and contributed an astonishing $23 million in gifts and future pledges. This is an incredible statement from the Mother Jones community in the face of the huge threats—both economic and political—against the free press.

Read more about The Moment and see what we've been able to accomplish thanks to readers' incredible generosity so far, and please join them today. Your gift will be matched dollar for dollar, up to $500,000 total, during this critical moment for journalism.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.