US President Donald Trump said on Friday that Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta is stepping down following criticism of his handling of a 2008 plea deal with a wealthy financier Jeffrey Epstein, who is accused of sexually abusing dozens of underage girls.
Trump announced the resignation with Acosta by his side at the White House as Trump left on a trip to the Midwest. Acosta said stepping aside was the right decision.
Acosta was the United States attorney in Miami where he oversaw a 2008 nonprosecution agreement with Epstein. The plea deal let Epstein avoid federal prosecution on charges that he molested teenage girls.
Similar charges recently filed against Epstein by federal prosecutors in New York had put Acosta’s role in the 2008 deal under renewed scrutiny.