US Labor Secretary Acosta resigns over Epstein case
US Labor Secretary Alex Acosta on Friday resigned over a plea deal he made with wealthy financier Jeffrey Epstein, a sex offender charged with human trafficking girls as young as 14.
President Donald Trump formally announced Acosta's resignation with Acosta at his side. Trump said the secretary called him Friday morning to say that the decision to resign was his.
The White House said Acosta's deputy, Pattrick Pizzella, would become the acting labor secretary.
Acosta finally caved in to pressure to quit, having previously defended his role as the Miami US attorney in striking a plea deal with Epstein in 2008 which included avoiding federal charges and negotiating a light sentence for pleading guilty to prostitution-related offences. He served 13 months in prison.
Epstein was charged with new sex trafficking charges in relation to allegations from the 2000s on Monday and accused of allegedly running a "vast network" of underage girls for sex, enticing them to visit his Manhattan and Florida mansions between 2002 and 2005.
He pleaded not guilty to charges of sex trafficking and sex trafficking conspiracy, and will remain in jail until his bail hearing on 11 July.