Labor Secretary Alex Acosta said Friday he will resign amid controversy over the way he handled a sex crimes case against wealthy businessman Jeffrey Epstein a decade ago when Acosta was U.S. attorney for southern Florida.
Acosta made the announcement to reporters while standing next to President Donald Trump outside the White House. Trump said Acosta had called him Friday morning and that it was Acosta’s decision to quit.
“This was him, not me, because I’m with him,” Trump said in a lengthy exchange with the press before departing the White House en route to events in Wisconsin and Ohio. “I said, ‘You don’t have to do this.’”
The issue resurfaced when the politically connected Epstein, whose friends have included President Trump and former President Bill Clinton, was arrested on sex trafficking charges on July 6.
Leading Democratic presidential candidates, including Joe Biden and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, as well as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, have demanded that Acosta quit.