President Donald Trump announced on Thursday that he will nominate Gene Scalia, former Justice Antonin Scalia's son, as secretary of labor - replacing Alex Acosta, who resigned over the fallout from the plea deal he negotiated for Jeffrey Epstein in 2008.
Scalia, 55, is a partner at the law firm Gibson Dunn & Crutcher in Washington, D.C., where he handles cases related to labor and employment.
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"Gene has led a great life of success in the legal and labor field and is highly respected not only as a lawyer, but as a lawyer with great experience working with labor and everyone else", Trump said Thursday night. Scalia also served as the solicitor of the U.S. Labor Department, the agency's top lawyer, during the George W. Bush administration. Mr. Trump wrote over two tweets.
Scalia's appointment is likely to be opposed by Democrats and labor unions.
Acosta's resignation will turn into official on Friday, when his deputy, Patrick Pizzella, will win over as performing Labor secretary, pending Scalia's confirmation.
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Acosta became the latest of several Trump cabinet members to leave in the midst of scandal or disagreement with the president.
From Friday, when Mr. Acosta formally leaves over his role in the Jeffrey Epstein case as a US attorney, Mr. Acosta's deputy, Patrick Pizzella, who is more congenial to free-market conservatives, will be acting secretary of labor.
Under the Epstein deal, prosecutors reduced his federal sex trafficking charges to state prostitution charges, shaving off jail time.
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Krischer said that after the state charged Epstein with a felony count of solicitation of prostitution, the U.S. Attorney's Office secured a 53-page indictment on felony charges, which he said was "abandoned after secret negotiations between Mr. Epstein's lawyers and Mr. Acosta".