Secretary of Labor Alex Acosta has resigned in the wake of controversy regarding a plea deal he negotiated more than a decade ago with wealthy financier Jeffrey Epstein.
Acosta made the announcement to reporters while standing next to President Donald Trump outside the White House. Trump said that the Labor Secretary had called him Friday morning, and that it was Acosta’s decision.
Earlier this week, Acosta, a former federal prosecutor, conducted a press conference to address the controversy, noting that Epstein would not have done any jail time in the absence of a plea deal. “The goal here was straightforward – put Epstein behind bars,” Acosta said. Epstein has recently been charged with human trafficking girls as young as 14.
A Miami Herald investigation in November 2018 called to attention Acosta’s role as the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida in negotiating the 2007 deal with Epstein's lawyers. The deal called for Epstein to plead guilty to two state felony prostitution charges, pay restitution to his victims, register as a sex offender and serve 13 months in county jail.
The issue resurfaced on July 6, when Epstein was arrested on sex trafficking charges.