Alexander Acosta has resigned. After countless cries for his resignation over his revolting record of helping rich men escape true justice, Acosta finally gave in on Friday and stepped down.
Last weekend billionaire and registered sex offender Jeffrey Epstein was arrested for the second time on federal child sex trafficking charges. Epstein’s arrest resurfaced the outrage over Acosta’s role in the original case against Epstein more than a decade ago when Acosta helped broker a ‘sweetheart deal’ for the billionaire that allowed him to escape serious federal charges while keeping the deal secret from his victims.
Epstein was accused of recruiting and trafficking dozens of minors, then molesting and sexually abusing them. The deal brokered by Acosta, who was then a US attorney, allowed Epstein to avoid the 45 years in prison he should have faced. Instead, Epstein was granted immunity from federal prosecution and was sentenced to 18 months in county jail.
During his 2007 confirmation hearing for Secretary of Labor, a role which made him in charge of monitoring human trafficking, Acosta was asked about the Epstein deal, to which he replied, “At the end of the day, based on the evidence, professionals within the prosecutor’s office decide that a plea that guarantees that someone goes to jail, that guarantees that someone register generally, and that guarantees other outcomes, is a good thing.”
This week Acosta held a press conference defending his decision to make the 2008 deal, stating that Trump “has publicly made clear that I’ve got his support.” Civil rights groups responded in outrage, resulting in projected messages onto the Department of Labor building calling for his resignation:
After Acosta’s resignation on Friday, President Trump defended the Epstein deal: “He made a deal that people were happy with and then 12 years later, they’re not happy with it.” Trump also thanked Acosta for his service, stating: “He was a great great secretary.”
Deputy Labor Secretary Patrick Pizzella will now serve as acting secretary. Pizzella is known for his anti-labor history, having worked hard to keep out the U.S. minimum wage and other labor protections from the Northern Mariana Islands so that the island chain could continue to use slave-like labor practices.