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.
Trump on Labor Secretary Acosta resignation: I just want to let you know, this was him, not me — because I'm with him. He's a tremendous talent. He's a Hispanic man. He went to Harvard. A great student…We're going to miss him. https://t.co/QFE2NfZJQj pic.twitter.com/AvBQti1V9o
— POLITICO (@politico) July 12, 2019
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.