The federal prosecutors said in a Friday court filing in NY that the 66-year-old multimillionaire wired a total $350,000 to two people who could potentially testify against him at trail after the Miami Herald published the beginning of an investigative report detailing a secret deal Epstein made with authorities in Florida to avoid prosecution in 2008.
Acosta came under renewed scrutiny in recent days over his role years ago as a us attorney in Miami, during which time he cut a secret non-prosecution agreement in 2008 with billionaire Jeffrey Epstein. "It would be selfish for me to stay in this position and continue talking about a case that is 12 years old rather than the fantastic economy we have right now".
"Instead, Mr. Acosta brokered a secret plea deal that resulted in a non-prosecution agreement in violation of the Crime Victims' Rights Act". I told him I thought the right thing was to step aside.
In the previous case against him, Epstein was accused of abusing dozens of teenage girls between 1999 and 2007. Acosta had been asked.
"Mr. Acosta now joins the sprawling parade of President Trump's chosen advisors who have left the administration under clouds of scandal and corruption, leaving rudderless and discouraged agencies in their wake".
Given that background, UltraViolet's Thomas said, "Congress should open a full investigation into President Trump, who was directly implicated as an enabler of Epstein, and is self-confessed serial sexual predator with almost two dozen accusations against him".
Epstein, a billionaire hedge fund manager, pleaded not guilty to new federal charges in NY this week.
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Both Trump and former president Bill Clinton were acquainted with Epstein, but have taken pains after the Herald reporting to distance themselves from the hedge fund manager.
Acosta would not say if he would make the same decision regarding Epstein now, considering the power of the #MeToo movement that led to the downfall of several powerful men publicly accused of sex crimes by women. A federal probe of an alleged sex trafficking operation involving underage girls was brought to a close, while Epstein pleaded guilty to state charges involving a single victim.
"As part of the arrangement, Acosta agreed - despite a federal law to the contrary - that the deal would be kept from the victims".
Trump said earlier this week that "a lot" of people were involved in the 2008 case, in addition to Acosta, for whom he felt "badly".
"Alex was a great Secretary of Labor and his service is truly appreciated", the president added, noting that Acosta would be replaced on an acting basis by the current deputy secretary, Pat Pizzella.
Trump called Epstein a "terrific guy" in a 2002 magazine feature, but has said this week soon after that time the pair ended their friendship.
Acosta was confirmed in the Senate in early 2017 by a 60-38 vote, with all Republicans on board, along with eight Democrats and one independent. "Today's world treats victims very, very differently", he said.
As labor secretary, Acosta's duties included overseeing human trafficking and worldwide child labor laws.
The deal is also being scrutinised by the Department of Justice.