After the controversy regarding Alex Acosta’s decade-old decision to offer Jeffrey Epstein a plea deal on charges nearly identical to those Epstein is facing currently, Alex Acosta has announced his resignation from the role of Labor Secretary. From BBC:
Mr Acosta, a former Florida prosecutor, made the announcement from the White House Lawn on Friday, as President Donald Trump stood by his side.
Democrats had called for him to quit over his handling of the Epstein case.
Mr Acosta had been defending the plea deal in a news conference only two days ago.
Mr Trump told reporters that the two had spoken on the phone earlier on Friday morning and that it was Mr Acosta’s decision.
Frankly, this shouldn’t come as a surprise. Epstein’s arrest was the result of decades of reprehensible behavior, and anyone who thought they could escape the shock waves was kidding themselves. Acosta will be the first of many as this trial unfolds.
Of course, the question remains whether Acosta should be a casualty. Certainly Epstein got off easy under Acosta’s deal, a decision Acosta defended in a recent press conference:
“We did what we did because we wanted to see Epstein go to jail,” Acosta said at the press conference, which lasted nearly one hour.
“He needed to go to jail.”
Acosta suggested that what was a good deal at time was being looked at differently today, but also said that “facts are being overlooked.”
“Times have changed, and coverage of this case has certainly changed, ” Acosta said.
But it was also a decade ago, and the world was different. Evidence was less abundant. And Acosta had a point– Epstein should have been incarcerated, and having him register as a sex offender is a step toward justice. But CNBC also points out that the deal was concealed from Epstein’s victims, and he still has a monsoon of crimes to answer for. Perhaps Acosta could’ve done more, perhaps he couldn’t. We’ll never know for sure.
In any case, the jury of popular opinion has spoken: Too little, too late.