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President Donald Trump with Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta. Photo: Oliver Contreras - Pool/Getty Images)

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is leading calls for Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta to resign over his role in a 2008 plea deal with financier and registered sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, who now faces sex trafficking charges. And she questioned President Trump's decision to appoint Acosta to the Cabinet.

A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

Context: A judge ruled in February that federal prosecutors, including Acosta, violated the law by striking a sweetheart plea deal with Epstein, in which he averted federal prosecution for his participation in an international sex operation.

  • Acosta, who was then U.S. attorney for the southern district of Florida, opted not to prosecute Epstein on federal sex traffic laws and instead struck a deal that ultimately granted him immunity.

Why it matters: Epstein now faces allegations that he sexually abused and trafficked underage girls in Florida and New York. He denies all charges.

  • Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), a member of the Judiciary Committee, asked the Department of Justice in December to investigate its treatment of Epstein in the earlier case. Consequently, the DOJ opened an investigation in February, when the White House said it was "looking into" Acosta's 2008 role, per NBC News.

The big picture: Several Democrats, and some conservatives, have called on Acosta to resign. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) tweeted when asked if Acosta should step down, "Fully agree. Epstein’s conduct was despicable, and everyone who participated should be vigorously prosecuted."

Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) tweeted, "Acosta must go. He handed a sweetheart deal to a serial sexual predator. Survivors of Epstein’s abuse have been denied their day in court for too long. I’m thankful other prosecutors stepped in to finally deliver justice."

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) tweeted, "The new sex trafficking charges announced today make it agonizingly clear that Acosta failed to deliver true justice for the underage girls Jeffrey Epstein mercilessly exploited. Someone with such poor judgement & utter disregard for survivors should not be our Secretary of Labor."

Rep. Katherine Clark (D-Mass.) tweeted, "This weekend’s arrest is one step closer to justice for #JeffreyEpstein’s victims. Next step: getting rid of @SecretaryAcosta, who let Epstein get away with these horrendous crimes."

This article has been updated with more context and comments from lawmakers.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

50 mins ago - World

Brazil senators vote to recommend criminal charges for Bolsonaro

Brazilian senators vote on probe into President Bolsonaro's handling of pandemic. Photo: Gustavo Minas/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A Brazilian Senate committee Tuesday voted to approve a report recommending President Jair Bolsonaro be charged with a raft of criminal indictments, including crimes against humanity over his response to the COVID-19 pandemic, per AP.

Why it matters: Bolsonaro has become the face of a right-wing approach to the pandemic that includes repudiating vaccines and masks and resisting lockdowns and other mitigation measures. The Senate report holds him personally responsible for half of the country's 600,000 deaths.

Former Georgetown tennis coach pleads guilty to accepting admissions bribes

Gordon Ernst (left) former head tennis coach at Georgetown, outside a courthouse in Boston in 2019. Photo: Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

A former Georgetown University head tennis coach has pleaded guilty Tuesday to bribery charges related to facilitating the admission of prospective applicants.

Why it matters: Gordon Ernst solicited and accepted bribes from William Singer, ringleader of the cheating scheme uncovered by Operation Varsity Blues, and families in exchange for helping prospective applicants get into Georgetown as student athletes, according to the Justice Department.

4 hours ago - Health

CDC says some immunocompromised people can get fourth COVID shot

Photo: Noriko Hayashi/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in updated guidelines Tuesday that some immunocompromised people who have received either Pfizer or Moderna's COVID-19 vaccines will be able to get a fourth shot.

Details: People over 18 who are "moderately to severely immunocompromised" and have received three doses of an mRNA vaccine may get a fourth shot (of either the Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson vaccines) at least six months after getting their third Pfizer or Moderna dose, per the CDC.