White House Looking Into Labor Secretary’s Role in Secret Plea Deal for Wealthy Financier Accused of Abusing Dozens of Underage Girls

Politics
Labor Secretary Alex Acosta speaks during a roundtable discussion on healthcare cost in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on Jan. 23, 2019. (Credit: Mandel Ngan / AFP / Getty Images)

Labor Secretary Alex Acosta speaks during a roundtable discussion on healthcare cost in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on Jan. 23, 2019. (Credit: Mandel Ngan / AFP / Getty Images)

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The White House said Friday it’s “looking into” Labor Secretary Alex Acosta’s handling of a secret plea deal with a wealthy financier accused of sexually abusing dozens of underage girls

A federal judge ruled Thursday that prosecutors in Florida violated the rights of victims by reaching the non-prosecution agreement with Jeffrey Epstein. Acosta was the Miami U.S. attorney who oversaw the arrangement.

President Donald Trump said he didn’t know much about the case but volunteered that Acosta has done “a great job” as labor secretary. As for the Epstein case, Trump added, “That seems like a long time ago.”

Epstein has been required to register as a sex offender since 2008, and the Miami Herald has identified around 80 women who accuse the financier of molesting or otherwise sexually abusing them.

Trump’s spokeswoman, Sarah Sanders, called it a “complicated case.” She added that it was “something we’re certainly looking into, but that they made the best possible decision and deal they could have gotten at that time.”

Asked if Trump still had confidence in Acosta, Sanders said: “Again, we’re looking into the matter. I’m not aware of any changes.”

Acosta has called the deal appropriate.

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