U.S. Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta is facing increasing pressure to resign for his involvement in a 2008-plea deal, as federal prosecutors pursue new sex trafficking charges against financier Jeffrey Epstein in the state of New York.
Acosta has come under scrutiny after the wealthy financier was arrested Saturday and charged with new sex trafficking of minors, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Acosta was the top federal prosecutor in Miami, Florida, at the time when Epstein faced federal charges of molesting teenage girls. Acosta was involved in the lenient 2008 plea that allowed Epstein to evade prosecution on federal charges of molesting teenage girls.
Acosta is now pressed with calls to resign for securing such a lenient deal and for the way he handled the prosecution of the multimillionaire more than a decade ago.
……. On Tuesday, during the Oval Office talks with the Emir of Qatar, President Donald J. Trump praised Acosta’s achievement and said that he would look at it “very carefully.”
[Donald Trump, U.S. President]:
“I can tell you that for two and a half years he's been just an excellent Secretary of Labor. He's done a fantastic job. Part of it is our economy is so good; our unemployment numbers are at record lows. You know, so many good things are happening. But the fact is he's been a very good secretary of labor. … I can only say this from what I know and what I do know is that he's been a great, really great Secretary of Labor. The rest of it we'll have to look, we'll have to look at it very carefully.”
As pressure mounts, demanding Acosta’s resignation, President Trump stands by his Cabinet official.