FILE - In this Sept. 17, 2018, file photo, President Donald Trump, left, and Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta listen during a meeting of the President's National Council of the American Worker in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington. The arrest of billionaire financier Jeffrey Epstein on child sex trafficking charges is raising new questions about the future of Acosta as well as Epstein’s relationships with several major political figures, including President Donald Trump and former President Bill Clinton. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

Acosta to take questions on his handling of Epstein case

July 10, 2019 - 11:03 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — Labor Secretary Alex Acosta plans to make a statement Wednesday regarding his handling of a sex trafficking case involving now-jailed billionaire financier Jeffrey Epstein.

The Labor Department said Acosta will "make a statement and answer questions" from reporters at 2:30 p.m.

Acosta, a former federal prosecutor in south Florida, is under fire for his role in a secret 2008 plea deal that let Epstein avoid federal prosecution after allegations he molested teenage girls.

Epstein pleaded not guilty on Monday to new child sex-trafficking charges and could face up to 45 years in prison if convicted.

President Donald Trump has praised Acosta's work in his Cabinet and said he feels "very badly" for him, but said he'll be looking "very closely" at the matter.

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