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."
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