Labor Secretary Alex Acosta held a news conference Wednesday afternoon following renewed scrutiny over his role in cutting a plea deal more than a decade ago for Jeffrey Epstein.

Acosta, who served as a U.S attorney in Florida, secured a federal non-prosecution agreement against Epstein as part of the plea deal, which critics have blasted as too lenient. Acosta said the new prosecution against Epstein allowed him to more fully explain the decision he made. He said that had his office not been involved, Epstein would have only faced one charge from state prosecutors.

Acosta gave no indication he would resign after days of calls by Democrats for him to step down and said he has the support of President Donald Trump. “My relationship with the president is outstanding,” Acosta said.

Alexander Acosta defends handling of Jeffrey Epstein case — live updates


Editorial credit: Greenburd /