Donald Trump's labour secretary Alex Acosta has resigned over his role in a controversial plea deal handed to convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein a decade ago - an apparent attempt to draw a line under an episode that had become an increasing distraction for the administration.
Mr Acosta has maintained when he helped prosecute financier Jeffrey Epstein for sex crimes in 2008 he sought the best prosecution deal he could, but acknowledged the terms of the deal now look lenient.
This week at a televised news conference, Mr Acosta defended his work as a federal prosecutor for the southern district of Florida.
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His role in the case had come under fresh scrutiny after Epstein, 66, was this week arrested and charged with sex trafficking underage girls as young as 14 years old in both Florida and New York.
“In our heart we were trying to do the right thing for these victims,” he said, during the hour-long news conference. “We believe that we proceeded appropriately.”
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