Prosecutors in New York announce charges against Epstein. Photo: Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

Labor Secretary Alex Acosta has defended the plea deal he approved in 2008 for accused pedophile Jeffrey Epstein. Acosta was serving as U.S. attorney in southern Florida at the time.

Why it matters: With the wealthy financier once again facing charges, this time in New York, Democrats including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi are demanding Acosta resign over the lenient deal reached 11 years ago. In a series of tweets on Tuesday, Acosta said the prosecutors at the time "insisted that Epstein go to jail, register as a sex offender and put the world on notice that he was a sexual predator."

  • While Epstein was jailed, he pleaded guilty to state charges to soliciting prostitution, not to sexually abusing minors. He was free during the day under a "work release" deal and freed entirely after 13 months.
  • Acosta said in the tweets that he is "pleased that NY prosecutors are moving forward with a case based on new evidence."

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Updated 24 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 6 p.m. ET: 13,026,225 — Total deaths: 570,924 — Total recoveries — 7,188,992Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 6 p.m. ET: 3,346,246— Total deaths: 135,512 — Total recoveries: 1,006,326 — Total tested: 40,282,176Map.
  3. World: WHO head: There will be no return to the "old normal" for the foreseeable future — Hong Kong Disneyland closing due to surge.
  4. States: Houston mayor calls for two-week shutdownCalifornia orders sweeping rollback of open businesses — Cuomo says New York will use formula to determine if reopening schools is safe.
  5. Education: Los Angeles schools' move to online learning could be a nationwide tipping point.

House Judiciary Committee releases transcript of Geoffrey Berman testimony

Geoffrey Berman. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The House Judiciary Committee on Monday released the transcript of its closed-door interview with Geoffrey Berman, the former top federal prosecutor in Manhattan who was forced out by Attorney General Bill Barr last month.

Why it matters: House Democrats have seized on Berman's testimony, in which he claimed the attorney general sought to "entice" him into resigning so that he could be replaced by SEC chairman Jay Clayton, to bolster allegations that the Justice Department has been politicized under Barr.

The nationwide K-12 tipping point

Photo: Karen Ducey/Getty Images

The doors of public schools are swiftly slamming shut for many Americans ahead of this next school year.

Driving the news: Los Angeles and San Diego are starting out online-only this fall, forcing 825,000 students to learn with a laptop.