Labor Secretary Alex Acosta resigns after criticism over Epstein plea deal

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On Friday, with President Trump standing by his side, Acosta told reporters what prompted his decision.

"Times have changed and coverage of this case has certainly changed since [2008]", Acosta told reporters. Acosta negotiated the plea deal without notifying Epstein's alleged victims.

Acosta was the USA attorney in Miami when he oversaw a 2008 non-prosecution agreement that allowed Epstein to avoid federal trial but plead guilty to state charges and serve 13 months in jail.

Epstein, 66, was arrested on July 6 at Teterboro Airport in New Jersey, where he had returned on his private plane from Paris. Trump said that Acosta had called him Friday morning, and that it was Acosta's decision to quit.

Mr Acosta joined him on the lawn and Mr Trump praised him for doing a good job as Labor Secretary. "I just want to let you know this is him, not me".

After federal attorneys in NY announced the new charges against Epstein this week, Acosta tweeted that he was "pleased" by their decision.

Trump said Friday that deputy Pat Pizzella will took over as acting labour secretary, one of a host of positions now vacant or with officials serving in an acting capacity. Trump claimed he and Epstein had fallen out a long time ago and he hadn't spoken to him in probably 15 years or more, after having thrown him out of his resort at Mara-a-Lago for reasons he would not specify. It wasn't enough to save his job.

"Is the Epstein case going to cause a problem [ for confirmation hearings]?" It mixes allegations of sex crimes with abuse of power and influence reaching into the highest corridors of U.S. political and financial power.

Ms Giuffre claimed after agreeing to work for Epstein she was paid to engage in sexual activity with him and his friends, including, she alleged a number of unnamed high profile worldwide figures. "Mr. Acosta should not be allowed to rewrite history". Democratic critics of the Trump administration have since called for his resignation. The level of churn in his administration, whether through scandal, burn-out or presidential disfavour, is extraordinary.

Acosta was confirmed to President Trump's Cabinet in 2017 with a bipartisan vote of 60-38. Epstein had a social circle that over the years has included Trump, former President Bill Clinton and Britain's Prince Andrew. "It's what I do". "I threw him out of a club". Acosta made the announcement himself, accompanying the president out of the White House residence before the president's departure for a trip to Milwaukee. As U.S. attorney, Acosta approved the deal.

"We did what we did because we wanted to see Epstein go to jail", said Acosta.

"That is why we intervened", he said.

Acosta is a former federal prosecutor and civil rights chief. Epstein would have faced a potential life sentence in prison. "Today's world treats victims very, very differently", he said.

While working as US attorney for Southern Florida, Acosta approved a non-prosecution deal with Epstein which prevented Epstein and four other defendants from being charged with any federal crimes. "Instead Mr. Acosta brokered a secret plea deal", Krischer said.

They said in court papers Friday that he paid a total of $350,000 to two individuals, including a former employee, shortly after a published report previous year revealed a secret deal that helped him avoid federal prosecution. The heads of the Interior, Justice, State and Health departments have also either been fired or resigned, among other top staff during Trump tenure so far.

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