US Labor Secretary Alex Acosta will step down from his position, just days after holding a press conference to defend a plea deal he helped to obtain for sex offender Jeffrey Epstein as a US attorney over ten years ago.
President Donald Trump announced the resignation at the White House on Friday morning, with Acosta at his side. The president said he left the decision up to the secretary, and lauded him as a “great labor secretary, not a good one.”
“I thought the right thing was to step aside,” Acosta said.
Acosta has stood by his involvement in the 2007 Epstein case, in which he brokered a plea deal for the accused, but a federal judge ruled in February that the former prosecutor violated the law by failing to notify Epstein’s victims of the terms of the deal. Democratic critics of the Trump administration have since called for his resignation.