Labor Secretary Acosta resigns amid Epstein deal scrutiny

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Donald Trump, Linda McMahon, Alex Acosta

FILE – In this Sept. 17, 2018, file photo, President Donald Trump, left, and Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta listen during a meeting of the President’s National Council of the American Worker in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington. The arrest of billionaire financier Jeffrey Epstein on child sex trafficking charges is raising new questions about the future of Acosta as well as Epstein’s relationships with several major political figures, including President Donald Trump and former President Bill Clinton. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump says Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta is stepping down following criticism of his handling of a plea deal with a wealthy financier Jeffrey Epstein, who is accused of sexually abusing dozens of underage girls.

Trump announced the news with Acosta by his side at the White House as Trump left on a trip to the Midwest.

Acosta says stepping aside was the right decision.

He was the U.S. attorney in Miami when he oversaw a 2008 nonprosecution agreement with Epstein. Epstein avoided federal charges and served 13 months in jail.

Similar charges recently filed against Epstein by federal prosecutors in New York had put Acosta’s role in the 2008 deal under renewed scrutiny.

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