President Donald Trump has said his labor secretary, Alexander Acosta, is stepping down following criticism of his handling of a plea deal with the wealthy financier, Jeffrey Epstein, who is awaiting trial on charges of sex trafficking underage girls.
Trump announced the news with Acosta by his side at the White House, before leaving on a trip to the Midwest. Acosta said stepping aside was the right decision.
Acosta was the US attorney in Miami when he oversaw a 2008 non-prosecution agreement with Epstein. Epstein avoided federal charges and served 13 months in jail. The fresh charges filed this week against Epstein by federal prosecutors in New York had put Acosta’s role in the 2008 deal under renewed scrutiny.