Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta has chosen to resign in the wake of Jeffrey Epstein’s recent arrest in New York, which brought back into the limelight Acosta’s role in orchestrating a lenient plea deal for the serial sex trafficker in 2008.
According to The New York Times, President Trump made the announcement on Friday morning as he departed the White House for Milwaukee and Cleveland.
On Wednesday, Acosta held a press conference where he defended his actions as a U.S. attorney for South Florida in 2008, which saw Epstein serve just 13 months of an 18-month sentence in a county jail and permission to leave his cell six days a week to go to work. The deal also shielded him from federal prosecution.
Epstein pleaded guilty to prostitution charges, despite the state having ample evidence to charge him with sex trafficking.
Prosecutors in New York have followed through with sex trafficking charges, arresting Epstein earlier this week as he returned from Paris — and renewing concerns over the government’s initial prosecution of the admitted sex offender.
The Times said Democrats insisted on Thursday that the Justice Department provide a briefing about the 2008 decision not to prosecute Epstein.