....Alex was a great Secretary of Labor and his service is truly appreciated. He will be replaced on an acting basis by Pat Pizzella, the current Deputy Secretary.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 12, 2019
Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta announced his resignation on Friday after receiving harsh criticism for his role in brokering a 2008 plea deal with registered sex-offender and pedophile Jeffrey Epstein. He will be replaced by Deputy Labor Secretary Patrick Pizzella.
WATCH: Trump announces Labor Secretary Alex Acosta’s resignation amid criticism of his handling of the Jeffrey Epstein case https://t.co/PBmUT5rgSD— TicToc by Bloomberg (@tictoc) July 12, 2019
"I do not think it is right or fair to have me as the focus," said Acosta, standing next to President Trump at a morning press conference, adding "I thought the right thing was to step aside."
Trump comes to departure with Labor Sec Alex Acosta, who announces he is resigning. Acosta says it was his idea. pic.twitter.com/Mpq79f5J4A— Amber Athey (@amber_athey) July 12, 2019
President Trump said that Acosta was a "great labor secretary not a good one," adding that he did a "very good job."
Acosta held a press conference on Wednesday in which he suggested Epstein's deal was the fault of Florida state prosecutors, or possibly the judge, or anyone else but him - and that Epstein would have walked free without the deal he was behind.
“I wanted to help them,” Mr. Acosta, who was the top federal prosecutor in Miami at the time, said of the victims during an hourlong session with reporters at the Labor Department. “That is why we intervened. And that’s what the prosecutors of my office did — they insisted that he go to jail and put the world on notice that he was and is a sexual predator.” -NYT
EARLIER: Acosta defended his handling of Epstein’s plea deal when he was the top federal prosecutor in southern Florida over a decade ago.— TicToc by Bloomberg (@tictoc) July 12, 2019
NOW: He's resigning pic.twitter.com/9SKHFUT2yJ
Not true said former Palm Beach County state's attorney, Barry Krischer - who said that Acosta abandoned a 53-page federal indictment "after secret negotiations between Mr. Epstein's lawyers and Mr. Acosta," according to The Hill.
READ IT HERE: Former Palm Beach (FL) State Atty Barry Krischer challenges Acosta’s characterization of why Acosta pursued a plea deal for Epstein: “I can emphatically state that Mr. Acosta’s recollection of this matter is completely wrong.” pic.twitter.com/0Drs4vetTO— Peter Alexander (@PeterAlexander) July 10, 2019
While Epstein has allegedly victimized up to 60 girls, many of them underage according to the Miami Herald, his sweetheart deal for just two counts of solocitation of prostitution (one with a minor), and included working from his West Palm Beach office for as much as 12 hours a day for up to six days a week. He was also required to register as a sex offender, and was given immunity from federal prosecution.
WH officials initially viewed Alex Acosta’s performance earlier this week as stabilizing. But last night a senior WH official told us Sec. Acosta was “not out of the woods.”— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) July 12, 2019
Trump was stewing over Acosta’s fate yesterday as he and aides worried about revelations in Epstein case, I’m told. “There would just continue to be disclosures,” a senior official said. “There would be questions in this town and on the trail,” official added, referring to 2020.— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) July 12, 2019