UPDATE | Labor Secretary Alex Acosta resigns
WASHINGTON (AP) — Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta said today he is resigning after renewed scrutiny of his handling of a 2008 secret plea deal with wealthy financier Jeffrey Esptein , who is accused of sexually abusing dozens of underage girls.
President Donald Trump, with Acosta at his side, made the announcement as he left the White House for a trip to Wisconsin and Ohio. The president said Acosta had been a "great" labor secretary.
"I hate to see this happen," Trump said. He said he did not ask Acosta to leave the Cabinet.
Acosta said his resignation would be effective in seven days. Acosta said he didn't think it was right for his handling of Epstein's case to distract from his work as secretary of labor.
"My point here today is we have an amazing economy and the focus needs to be on the economy job creation," Acosta said.
Acosta was the U.S. attorney in Miami when he oversaw a 2008 nonprosecution agreement Jeffrey Epstein. Epstein avoided federal charges, plead guilty to state 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.
Top Democratic lawmakers and presidential candidates had demanded that Acosta resign over his handling of the agreement, which a federal judge has said violated federal law because Acosta did not notify Epstein's victims of the arrangement. The Justice Department has been investigating.
Trump had initially defended Acosta but said he'd look "very closely" his handling of the 2008 agreement.
The deal came under scrutiny earlier this year following reporting by The Miami Herald.
WASHINGTON — CNN is reporting that Labor Secretary Alex Acosta has resigned amid the furor over his handling of a sex-trafficking case involving now-jailed financier Jeffrey Epstein.
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