July 12, 2019

President Trump’s embattled labor secretary, R. Alexander Acosta, announced his resignation on Friday amid continuing questions about his handling of a sex crimes case involving the financier Jeffrey Epstein when Mr. Acosta was a federal prosecutor in Florida.

Mr. Trump, who announced the resignation, said Mr. Acosta had called him on Friday morning to tell the president he planned to step down. Mr. Acosta’s decision came only two days after he held a news conference to defend his handling of the 2008 sex crimes prosecution of Mr. Epstein while trying to quell a chorus of Democratic calls for his resignation and convincing Mr. Trump he was strong enough to survive.

. . .

Theodore J. Leopold, a lawyer who represented one of the first girls to come forward, said Mr. Acosta was likely forced out because of election year pressure.

“I personally think the resignation has to do more with the fact that every day in the news the president’s name was coming up in conjunction with Epstein,” Mr. Leopold said. “This is going to be a campaign issue. It was going to come back to the president at some point in time if Acosta stayed, because every day there was more fuel to the fire.”

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