Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta told reporters, with President Donald Trump by his side, that he will resign from his post effective in one week.

Acosta has come under fire recently over the way he handled the sex trafficking case against Jeffrey Epstein in 2008 as US Attorney for the Southern District of Florida.

The anger towards Acosta for giving Epstein a sweetheart deal in 2008 has never fully gone away. It only came to the forefront after authorities arrested Epstein on July 6 and indicted him on sex trafficking conspiracy and one count of sex trafficking with underage females.

Acosta told reporters he decided to resign because he does not think “it is right for this administration’s Labor Department to have Epstein as the focus rather than the incredible economy.” He will release his letter later today.

Acosta allowed Epstein to plead “to two state prostitution charges, ultimately serving only 13 months and avoiding a federal trial,” and register as a sex offender while paying “restitution to the victims identified by the FBI.”

The deal also included secrecy from the victims, which went against federal law. A Florida judge ruled in February that Acosta’s team broke the law:

A Florida judge ruled in February, 2019 that the team of Miami prosecutors led by Acosta broke the law when they concealed that plea agreement from more than 30 underage victims who had been sexually abused by Epstein.

“A judge has confirmed what we’ve known for some time – that when Secretary Acosta was a federal prosecutor, his office violated survivors’ rights under federal law when giving serial sexual abuser Jeffrey Epstein what the Miami Herald calls ‘the deal of a lifetime,’ Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) said in a statement in response to the ruling.

“The Department of Justice needs to swiftly investigate whether Secretary Acosta violated standard DOJ practice in giving Epstein this sweetheart deal, ensure accountability for any wrongdoing, and pursue justice for survivors.”

During a press conference yesterday, Acosta described Epstein’s crimes as “horrific” and expressed gratitude that prosecutors have gone forward with the case. Reporters asked him if he had any regrets, but Acosta just insisted that times have changed and prosecutors have more evidence. He also suggested that the world today “treats victims very, very differently.”

However, the conference went downhill after Acosta doubled-down on his actions in 2008. He claimed that “his office intervened only after state prosecutors were ready to let Epstein walk free.”

Barry Krischer, the man who served as Palm Beach County state attorney at that time, fired back that Acosta did not have facts to back him up because “[F]ederal prosecutors do not take a back seat to state prosecutors.”

 
 
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