Alexander Acosta announced he is resigning as labor secretary on July 12 after weeks and months of scrutiny over his handling of Jeffrey Epstein’s case in Florida in 2008. At that time, Acosta had been the U.S. attorney for southern Florida.
The Miami Herald reported in November 2018 that Acosta had struck a secret deal with Epstein, who was accused of raping children at his Palm Beach home. The politically-connected Epstein was given 13 months for his crime and forced to register as a sex offender.
Acosta announced his decision while standing next to Donald Trump on the White House lawn on Friday morning. The president said that Acosta contacted him earlier that morning to tell him of his decision to quit. Trump paid tribute to Acosta as a “great labor secretary, not a good one. The president added that he felt Acosta had done a “very good job.” Acosta was nominated to be labor secretary in February 2017 and was confirmed to the role by the U.S. Senate in April 2017.
On July 6, Jeffrey Epstein was arrested by federal and law enforcement and accused of sex trafficking children between 2002 and 2005 in New York and Florida. The arrest brought Epstein’s alleged crimes back into the public spotlight. On July 10, a woman named Jennifer Araoz came forward to say that she had been groomed and raped by Epstein when she was a teenager.
The day before his resignation announcement, Acosta held a public press conference in which he defended his handling of the Epstein case.
More to follow…