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White House looking into Labor Secretary Acosta’s role in sex abuse plea deal

UPDATED: Fri., Feb. 22, 2019

In this March 22, 2017 photo, Labor secretary-designate Alex Acosta testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Manuel Balce Ceneta / Associated Press)
In this March 22, 2017 photo, Labor secretary-designate Alex Acosta testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Manuel Balce Ceneta / Associated Press)
Associated Press

WASHINGTON – The White House says 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’s spokeswoman, Sarah Sanders, on Friday called it a “complicated case.”

“My understanding is that’s a very complicated case,” she said, adding 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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