A new report by the watchdog group Public Citizen found that, in 11 of the 12 federal agencies led by a Trump-appointed official in 2017, penalties on corporate wrongdoing decreased. At Scott Pruitt’s EPA, penalties decreased by over 90 percent. The majority of agencies Public Citizen looked at saw penalties decrease by at least 50 percent.
The Office of Management and Budget official nominated to replace Mick Mulvaney atop the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau admitted in congressional testimony that she had never worked in financial regulation or consumer protection. Mulvaney, meanwhile, is reportedly being considered to replace John Kelly as the President’s chief of staff.
The Department of Education is planning to weaken its “borrower defense” rule, which would make it harder for students who were scammed by for-profit colleges to get help.
The Republican-appointed chairman of the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board, which is tasked with protecting workers at nuclear weapons facilities and residents of nearby communities, is urging the White House to shut down the board.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions joined high school students in a chant of “lock her up.” Sessions later appeared chastened; he “perhaps” should have made clear that people “are presumed innocent until cases are made,” he said.
New emails reveal that Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross pushed hard for a question on citizenship to be added to the Census, and that Ross’ aides asked the Department of Justice to request the question. This contradicts claims by the administration that the request initially came from DOJ. A citizenship question could decrease the Census count in urban, Democratic-leaning areas, decreasing their political power and the amount of federal funding they receive.
The Senate confirmed Robert Wilkie to be the next secretary of Veterans Affairs. Wilkie allegedly carried out politically motivated reassignments of career staffers who he suspected of “disloyalty.”
As the Department of the Interior moved last year to shrink national monuments at the urging of oil and gas interests, it produced reports on the benefits of the proposals, dismissing evidence of the sites’ benefits, including economic activity from tourism and archeological discoveries. New emails made public through the Freedom of Information Act document how Ryan Zinke and his deputies worked to intentionally produce the skewed analysis.
Faith Vander Voort, a spokesperson for Zinke, argued in a 2015 blog post that a Muslim could not be president of the United States.
The Trump administration’s nominee for chief counsel at the Internal Revenue Service, Michael Desmond, advised the Trump Organization on taxes for a short period between 2008 and 2011 when he worked at a firm alongside William Nelson and Sheri Dillon, Trump’s tax lawyers.
Ivanka Trump shut down her clothing company, claiming that ethics restrictions were stymying her ability to do business.
A federal judge dealt plaintiffs suing Trump under the emoluments clause a significant victory by denying Trump’s motion to dismiss, and by defining the term “emoluments” broadly.
And the top White House lawyer responsible for policing President Donald Trump and his officials’ ethical behavior is leaving his job at the end of the summer. What could go wrong?
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