Speed Reads

Another One

Alex Acosta is the 5th Trump Cabinet member to leave thanks to a personal scandal

Labor Secretary Alex Acosta is right on trend.

President Trump announced Friday that Acosta would step down as labor secretary by the end of next week, saying it was Acosta's decision to do so. But rising controversy surrounding Acosta's role in fashioning a lenient deal for Jeffrey Epstein more than a decade ago obviously influenced the decision, and it means he's far from the first official in Trump's Cabinet to leave in disgrace.

When Acosta was a prosecutor in Florida, his office arranged a plea deal that let Epstein off easy amid allegations of sexual abusing underage girls. Epstein's Sunday arrest in New York over similar allegations dredged up Acosta's old decision, which, in a Wednesday press conference, he said he stood by.

Acosta follows former Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price out the Cabinet's scandal-driven exit door. The department's inspector general had concluded Price wasted at least $341,000 on travel, namely on chartered flights. While Price paid back some of the costs, news of his outlandish spending sent him packing in September 2017. Next out of the Cabinet was former Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin, who was fired in March 2018 after a watchdog report accused him of using taxpayer money for an extended vacation. Former EPA Head Scott Pruitt followed, as he was found to have a spending problem on everything from chartered flights to moisturizer. Former Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, meanwhile, left at the end of last year as investigations swirled around deals he made in office.

Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn wasn't technically a part of Trump's Cabinet, but his quick departure from the West Wing came after probably the biggest scandal of all.