Published: Sat, July 13, 2019
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

US Labor Secretary Acosta resigns

US Labor Secretary Acosta resigns

Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta is stepping down after criticism over his role in a nonprosecution deal reached years ago with the well-connected businessman accused of sex crimes, Jeffrey Epstein.

President Donald Trump, with Acosta at his side, made the announcement as he left the White House for a trip to Wisconsin and Ohio. Trump said that Acosta had called him Friday morning, and that it was Acosta's decision to quit.

Trump, who publicly faults the news media almost every day, said Acosta put the blame for his departure there, too. "I said, 'You don't have to do this'".

The 2008 plea deal in Florida came under renewed scrutiny in light of Epstein's indictment Monday on more child sex trafficking charges in NY.

The strategist, who was not authorized to speak for the White House and requested anonymity, said the local prosecutor's comments contradicting Acosta were also "pretty very bad".

Earlier this week, attornies for Epstein proposed that he be released into home detention on a bail package valued at $77 million, secured by the mortgage on his Manhattan mansion.

"Alex was a great Secretary of Labor and his service is truly appreciated", Trump said in a tweet. Epstein did serve a 13-month jail sentence in Palm Beach County, Fla., but was allowed to leave jail to work out of his office six days a week.

Back then, Acosta said, America was less sympathetic to victims of sex trafficking and it would have been harder to convince the victims to testify and easier for Epstein's lawyers to attack their credibility in court. "Instead Mr. Acosta brokered a secret plea deal", Krischer said.

"We now have 12 years of knowledge and hindsight and we live in a very different world". He also called Acosta's presence in the cabinet a "distraction", and announced that Acosta's deputy, Pat Pizzella, would become acting secretary. It is even said that he likes attractive women as much as I do and many of them are on the younger side.

"Acosta should have stepped down when I first called for his resignation in February after a federal judge found that he broke the law when he violated the Crime Victims' Rights Act".

It was there that he handled Mr Epstein's first case involving sex with girls, which resulted in a punishment that critics say was far too lenient.

The Justice Department inspector general told lawmakers in January that he is unable to investigate the circumstances surrounding the 2008 plea deal because of statutory limitations. "In so many ways I hate what he's saying now cause we're gonna miss him". Among their objections were Acosta's decisions to proceed with several employment discrimination lawsuits and to allow certain Obama administration holdovers to keep their jobs.

According to the Herald, Acosta, who was serving as US Attorney for Southern Florida at the time, "didn't just buckle under pressure from Epstein's lawyers", but "worked with them to contain the case -even as the Federal Bureau of Investigation was uncovering evidence of a wider sex trafficking operation".

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