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'Law and Order' Trump Is Softer On One Class of Offender

Public Citizen sees profound drop in corporate penalties
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 28, 2018 10:45 AM CDT
In this July 23, 2018, photo, President Donald Trump arrives for a tour during a "Made in America Product Showcase" at the White House in Washington.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

(Newser) – While Donald Trump has positioned himself as a tough, "law and order" president, he has mostly excluded one group of offenders from his sights: those of the corporate class, according to a report released Wednesday by Washington-based watchdog Public Citizen. The report found that in 11 of the 12 federal agencies led by a Trump-appointed official during the president's first year, penalties imposed on corporate violators dropped, in the majority of cases by more than 50%, the AP reports. Penalties dropped at the Justice Department by 90%, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission by 80%, and the Securities and Exchange Commission by 68%.

The largest drop was at the Environmental Protection Agency, where overall penalties dropped by 94%, from nearly $24 billion in President Obama's last year in office to $1.5 billion. Penalties at the Federal Communications Commission dropped overall by 85%. The FCC's data was mostly made up of corporate offenders while the EPA's data was mostly a mix of municipalities and corporate offenders. Reducing regulations on business, in general, was one of Trump's earliest campaign promises—and the Public Citizen report found that it was indeed a promise kept. "Despite all his various tics and tantrums, he's a corporate CEO," says Rick Claypool, who co-wrote the report. "So he's coming into it with that corporate mindset, and his sympathies are going to be with the companies on the receiving end of that enforcement action."

(Read more President Trump stories.)

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