White House looking into Acosta role in sex abuse plea deal

FILE- In this March 22, 2017, file photo, Labor secretary-designate Alex Acosta testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington. Judge Kenneth Marra ruled Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019, that the victims of financier Jeffrey Epstein should have been consulted under federal law. Marra stopped short of invalidating the non-prosecution agreement but asked prosecutors and victims' lawyers to recommend in 15 days how to move forward. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File) –The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — 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”

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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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