Acosta Resigns as Labor Secretary

A courtroom sketch of Jeffrey Epstein's hearing last Monday

A courtroom sketch of Jeffrey Epstein's hearing last Monday

US Labour Secretary Alex Acosta is resigning amid criticism of his brokering of a plea deal for financier Jeffrey Epstein in a child sex case. After dropping the third iteration of her lawsuit following Trump's election, the left-leaning described it as "the end of an incredibly unusual case that featured an anonymous plaintiff who had refused nearly all requests for interviews, two anonymous corroborating witnesses whom no one in the press had spoken to, and a couple of seriously shady characters - with an anti-Trump agenda and a penchant for drama - who had aggressively shopped the story around to media outlets for over a year".

The allegations were made in a court filing asking that Epstein be denied bail while he awaits trial.

It allowed Epstein to avoid federal charges, and instead serve 13 months in jail after pleading guilty to state charges including solicitation of prostitution (including one charge involving a minor under the age of 18).

Epstein's lawyers did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Acosta thought so little of them that he didn't deem it important enough to inform them that Epstein was going to jail for a ridiculously short period of time. Prosecutors say he used employees and associates to lure the girls to his residences, and then paid some of his victims to recruit other girls for him to abuse.

They said they had recently obtained records from a financial institution showing he was worth "more than $500 million", and earns at least $10 million a year. He faces federal charges of sex trafficking and sex trafficking conspiracy.

They cited his payments to possible witnesses and the risk that he would flee as reasons to keep him in jail, while describing him as "unrepentant and unreformed". Depending on how the story evolves, Mr Acosta may not be the last.

O'Brien then went into how Trump's ties to Epstein had already placed him in legal peril.

The federal prosecutors in NY said they were not bound by the deal arranged by Acosta, which allowed Epstein to plead to a lesser offence and serve 13 months in jail with leave during the day while registering as a sex offender.

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Mr Acosta, a former Florida prosecutor, made the announcement from the White House lawn on Friday with President Donald Trump stood by his side.

"I do not think it is right and fair to have Epstein as the focus rather than the incredible economy that we have today", the outgoing labour secretary said.

But he added: "It would be selfish for me to stay in this position and continue talking about a case that's 12 years old".

New York-born Epstein worked as a teacher before moving into finance.

Prior to the criminal cases against him, he was best for his wealth and high-profile connections.

Both Trump and former president Bill Clinton were acquainted with Epstein, but have taken pains after the Herald reporting to distance themselves from the hedge fund manager.

Trump called Epstein a "terrific guy" in a 2002 magazine feature, but has said this week soon after that time the pair ended their friendship.

"I do hear that there were a lot of people involved in that decision", the president said. "I have done many [cases] much less troubling than this one where [prosecutors] would never make a downward argument like this".

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