"There are few crimes more horrendous than sexual violence against minors-and enabling that kind of predatory behavior is disgusting". That allowed him to avert a possible life sentence, instead serving 13 months in a work-release program.
Kaine said on Monday that Acosta "must go" as a result of the "sweetheart deal" he signed off on for Epstein.
However, conservative site Newsmax was reporting late Tuesday, based on internal White House sources, that Acosta soon planned to resign amid the escalating media feeding frenzy surrounding billionaire financier Jeffrey Epstein.
Speaking to reporters Tuesday, Trump repeatedly praised Acosta, calling him a "really great secretary of labor" and "very good" at his job.
"My relationship with the president is outstanding", Acosta said.
"In order to maintain and increase his supply of victims", prosecutors claimed, Epstein "also paid certain of his victims to recruit additional girls to be similarly abused".
The former hedge fund manager "intentionally sought out minors and knew that many of his victims were in fact under the age of 18, including because, in some instances, minor victims expressly told him their age", the indictment said.
The official added, however, that Barr has been and will remain recused from overseeing the department's review into how federal prosecutors in Florida, including now-Labor Secretary Alex Acosta, previously reached a plea deal with Epstein that has since come under scrutiny as being too lenient.
There, however, he would likely be a target for other inmates both because of his wealth and because he is a registered sex offender following his 2008 conviction for soliciting a girl for prostitution in Florida. A judge earlier this year ruled the deal was illegal.
Weinstein said it's unlikely because Epstein's guilty plea involved only state crimes, while the current case involves alleged violations federal law.
The New York indictment accuses Epstein of abusing dozens of underage girls at homes in Manhattan and Palm Beach, Fla., from 2002 to 2005.
That agreement allowed Epstein to plea to a lesser offense.
Acosta does have important questions to answer, and a DOJ investigation may justify his ouster.
Most of its findings are heavily redacted and do not name people subject to its inquiries, although it has issued public reports in some high profile matters in the past.
Another former SDNY prosecutor said she believed that, while Epstein's attorneys are not likely to make a successful argument in court that the agreement applies to the NY district, they could make that appeal to the deputy attorney general.
A status of the review is unknown.
Julián Castro, former secretary of Housing and Urban Development under former President Barack Obama, tied Acosta to Trump and demanded Congress investigate Trump's knowledge of Acosta's work on the Epstein case.
He defended his own prosecutorial conduct in another tweet. Trump did not comment on what the disagreement was about.
Alan Dershowitz, a lawyer who defended Epstein in the Florida case, defended the deal in a televised interview with CBS on Wednesday: "The feds thought it was the best they could do".
Clinton, through a spokesperson, said he "knows nothing about the awful crimes" Epstein is accused of, and outlined on Monday the contacts he had with Epstein.
Best-selling author James Patterson - who wrote "Filthy Rich: The Billionaire's Sex Scandal-The Shocking True Story of Jeffrey Epstein" - told Fox News on Tuesday that then-private citizen Donald Trump threw alleged pedophile Jeffrey Epstein out of Mar-a-Lago after he was notified about complaints being made against Epstein.