(Tea Party PAC) – Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta announced his resignation from on Friday, amid calls from both sides of the aisle for him to do so over a plea agreement he reached with billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein over a decade ago.
The announcement was made by President Donald Trump on Friday on his way to Wisconsin and Ohio for campaign stops.
Joined by Acosta, the president said he had been a “great” labor secretary.
“I hate to see this happen,” the president said, explaining he had not asked Acosta to resign.
Acosta said that his resignation would be effective in seven days, but that he didn’t believe it was right for the way he handled Epstein’s case to distract from his work as the labor secretary.
WATCH: Labor Sec. Alex Acosta announces his resignation amid scrutiny over his role in Epstein plea deal.
— ABC News (@ABC) July 12, 2019
“My point here today is we have an amazing economy and the focus needs to be on the economy job creation,” Acosta said.
In 2008, Acosta was the US attorney in Miami, where he oversaw the non-prosecuton agreement with Epstein. Epstein avoided federal charges, pled guilty to state charges, and served a scant 13 months in jail.
This week, similar charges were filed against Epstein by federal prosecutors in New York, putting Acosta’s role in the 2008 deal under renewed scrutiny.
President Trump had initially defended Acosta, saying he’d look “very closely” into how he had handled the 2008 agreement.
The 66-year-old Epstein reached the deal to secretly end a federal sex abuse investigation which involved at least 40 teenage girls and could have–should have–landed him in prison for life.
Instead, he pled to the state charges, spent 13 months in jail (with work release), paid settlements to victims, and registered as a sex offender.
On Wednesday, Acosta held a news conference to defend his actions. In his over 50-minute lawyerly spiel, Acosta argued that his office had arranged the best deal they could at the time and was working in the victims’ best interest.
“Times have changed and coverage of this case has certainly changed since ,” Acosta told reporters. “Facts are important and facts are being overlooked.”
“Simply put, the Palm Beach state attorney’s office was ready to let Epstein walk free, no jail time,” he added. “Prosecutors in my former office found this to be completely unacceptable.”
Congressional Democrats were quick to call for Acosta’s resignation.
On Monday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) tweeted late Monday:
“[email protected] must step down. As US Attorney, he engaged in an unconscionable agreement w/ Jeffrey Epstein kept secret from courageous, young victims preventing them from seeking justice. This was known by @POTUS when he appointed him to the cabinet.”
On Tuesday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) shared a similar sentiment, accusing Acosta of being too lenient with Epstein.
“Instead of prosecuting a predator and serial sex trafficker of children, Acosta chose to let him off easy,” he said. “This is not acceptable. We cannot have as one of the leading appointed officials in America someone who has done this.”
Blind hogs get acorns every once and a while, but what they won’t mention is that this all goes much higher than Acosta.
As we reported this week:
The Daily Beast reports: “Is the Epstein case going to cause a problem [for confirmation hearings]?” Acosta had been asked. Acosta had explained, breezily, apparently, that back in the day he’d had just one meeting on the Epstein case. He’d cut the non-prosecution deal with one of Epstein’s attorneys because he had “been told” to back off, that Epstein was above his pay grade. “I was told Epstein ‘belonged to intelligence’ and to leave it alone,” he told his interviewers in the Trump transition, who evidently thought that was a sufficient answer and went ahead and hired Acosta. (The Labor Department had no comment when asked about this.)”