Energy Department Ready to Approve Nuclear Waste Dumping

Read more of this story here from DCReport.org by David Crook.

Texas Facility Is Operated by a Major Donor to Sec. Rick Perry’s Political Campaigns

Energy Secretary Rick Perry could ship treated nuclear waste from our nation’s most polluted nuclear weapons production site to a Texas nuclear dump opened by one of his largest campaign contributors, a dump near an aquifer that supplies water from northern Texas to South Dakota.

The Texas Compact Waste Facility (CWF) is operated by Waste Control Specialists. It’s near the town of Andrews on the New Mexico border.

The Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, signed by former President Ronald Reagan, was written to prevent potential disasters such as this and mandates that the Department of Energy must send high-level waste to a network of underground tunnels and rooms where it can safely decay over millions of years.

Republicans and Trump’s new assistant secretary for environmental management, Anne Marie White, who did consulting work for the company that operates the dump, want to rewrite federal regulations to say that some high-level nuclear waste isn’t really high-level nuclear waste so it can be stored elsewhere.

“It certainly raises questions about potential conflicts of interest,” said Tom Carpenter, the executive director of Hanford Challenge, a Seattle watchdog group.

Action Box/What You Can Do About It

Mail comments to Theresa Kliczewski, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Environmental Management, Office of Waste and Materials Management (EM-4.2), 1000 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20585 or email them to  HLWnotice@em.doe.gov. Please submit comments in Word, or PDF file format, and avoid the use of encryption. Comments must be received by Dec. 10.

Call Rick Perry at 202-586-5000 to let him know your thoughts or write him at 1000 Independence Ave. SW, Washington, D.C. 20585. He is also on Twitter and Facebook.

Hanford Challenge can be reached at 206-292-2850 or info@hanfordchallenge.org

 

Dallas billionaire Harold Simmons, who died in 2013 at age 82, owned Waste Control Specialists. Simmons and his wife, Annette, gave Perry’s campaigns more than $1.3 million.

Waste Control Specialists got state licenses in Texas in 2008 and 2009 to dispose of radioactive waste in a dump in Andrews County on the Texas-New Mexico border, adjacent to the giant URENCO USA nuclear enrichment facility at Eunice, N.M. Perry, then Texas governor, appointed the three commissioners of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality who approved the licenses.

Nuclear facilities straddle the Texas-New Mexico border

The dump is over or near the Ogallala Aquifer, depending on whether you believe the water table boundaries of the company or others. The dump is also in an earthquake hazard zone.

Waste Control Specialists wants to take radioactive waste from the Hanford nuclear weapons complex in southeast Washington state, one of the most contaminated places on earth. About 56 million gallons of radioactive and chemical waste produced during World War II and the Cold War is stored in 177 underground tanks.

Hanford was created during the Manhattan Project in World War II and made the plutonium for the atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki, Japan.

Waste Control Specialists says it could save the federal government up to $16.5 million. The dump would take waste after cesium is removed and It is encased in grout. In December, 3 gallons of waste, or about  0.0000053% of the waste in the underground tanks, was encapsulated in grout as a test.

Republicans have previously reclassified nuclear waste as less dangerous. In 2004, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) attached a rider to the defense authorization bill so the Department of Energy didn’t have to remove radioactive sludge from underground storage tanks in South Carolina and Idaho.

Featured image: Hazardous and radioactive waste at the Andrews, Texas, dump is encapsulated in a liner and cover system, featuring a seven-foot-thick liner system which includes a one-foot-thick layer of reinforced concrete, and an-RCRA compliant geosynthetic layer. In addition, all of the waste is buried within the highly impermeable red-bed clay formation that extends hundreds of feet beneath the deepest layer of waste. (WCS photo)

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Why Let a Little Murder Get In the Way of Business?

Read more of this story here from DCReport.org by David Crook.

What the Killing of Journalist Jamal Khashoggi Reveals About Trump and the Saudis 

Jamal Khashoggi

The one thing we can conclude from the Saudi involvement in the death of Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi in its Turkish embassy is that this is one of those we-don’t-believe-anyone moments.

We don’t believe the Saudis, the White House, or even the various senators who think they finally have discovered a safe way to disagree with the president, who seems to be going out of his way to proclaim the innocence of the Saudi Crown Prince.

That said, it is a wonder indeed to learn that Republican Sen. Lindsay Graham, S.C., or Marco Rubio, Fla., finally have located their outrage button to push back against a president whom they have chosen time after time to follow into the political gutter.

For openers, the Khashoggi affair is proving to be an over-there moment, not a death that we are taking personally across our country. Who knows? The explanations change every ten minutes, and along with it, the level of concern about what the United States should do about the death of someone who was a U.S. permanent resident.

Even if we conclude from the obvious fact of the Saudis having sent a team of 15, including a coroner with a bone saw, to Turkey to grab Khashoggi that there is no way the death was accidental, it takes several more logical steps to lay any blame for a lack of caring about human rights at Donald Trump’s desk.

So, this whole Saudi affair has become a morally distant playlet for which we hold feelings that are at best ambiguous. Yet, in a single stroke, what we’ve put at stake is the credibility of the U.S. government as well as that of the Saudis, the future of the Middle East, oil politics and questions about the nature of expressing one’s opinions.

At stake is the credibility of the U.S. government as well as that of the Saudis, the future of the Middle East, oil politics and questions about the nature of expressing one’s opinions.

Of course, autocrats have people who criticize them killed; the question here is why suddenly Trump may be forced to care, as opposed to the strings of killings he condones from Russia’s Vladimir Putin, North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un or Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte, among others, including the Turkish leader himself. Of course, we like doing business with Saudis, whom we consider more ally than foe, despite a history that includes institutional support in the past for Osama Bin Laden and the attackers on 9/11. Of course, there have been many in the Saudi elite who have been romanced as financial partners by the president and presidential son-in-law Jared Kushner.

Still, our general response is less much emotional than it is for cuts in healthcare, or the mocking of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford for allegations against Judge Brett Kavanaugh, or the destruction of environmental protections. We Americans seem to reserve our outrage only for that which actually touches us personally, which is why the president’s uncorralled insults and lies on so many public issues manage to pass without much penalty.

The key idea to remember is that in Making America Great by ensuring the isolation of America First, Trump is dumping traditional American values, including a big amount of care about protecting human rights in the world, for cash business. The Saudis have vowed reactions if the U.S. imposes any kind of sanctions, and there is a healthy suggestion that acting against Saudi Arabia may interfere with planned efforts for a global boycott of Iranian oil. In simple terms, whatever happens next will be messy.

Editorials have noted, by the way, that none of the promised $100 billion in weapons sales contracts with the Saudis actually has been completed. And if these contracts are fulfilled, they will supply weapons that the Saudis are using to bomb Yemen in its Sunni-Shia dispute with Iran for regional superiority, leaving what may be the world’s most serious human refugee problem as a side product.

It seems to be businessmen and bankers who are reacting to the Kashoggi matter, refusing to attend the “Davos of the Mideast” business conference that Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin still intends to attend. Where is the American government leadership here? It seems that to preserve business ties, both government and personal, with Saudi Crown Prince Muhammed Bin Salman, our leaders will do anything to help concoct explanations that forgive the killing.

Lost in all of this is that there was an individual who was killed. Khashoggi was in self-imposed exile in the United States, where he wrote occasionally for the Washington Post op-ed page, but he had a checkered past as a confidante in the Saudi intelligence services. There even was an early-on positive meeting with bin Laden.

More and more voices are asking questions about what really drives our Saudi relationship.  Saudi Arabia supplies only about 9% of U.S. oil imports; because of natural gas, the United States is essentially energy independent, and actually produces more crude oil than Saudi Arabia. Saudis do provide terrorism intelligence, but, as discussed, over time, that has proved to be a two-edged sword.

It would be a best-case outcome for the United States to debate what kind of relationship it wants with Saudi Arabia, and to face the question of whether we still embrace our protection of human rights. Pushing Khashoggi under the rug solved nothing but preserving Trump family finances.

Featured image: Trump shows a chart highlighting arms sales to Saudi Arabia during a meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the Oval Office of the White House, March 20, 2018, in Washington. (VOA)

 

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Corrupt Government Officials Have Less to Fear Under Trump

Read more of this story here from DCReport.org by David Crook.

Study Finds a Sharp Decline in Prosecutions, Down 25% from Obama Administration

David Cay Johnston

Under Donald Trump, federal corruption prosecutions dropped by nearly a quarter, Syracuse University researchers found after analyzing detailed new Justice Department data.

The long-term trend shows that under Trump a steady decline in federal law enforcement efforts against government corruption is accelerating. Trump has repeatedly attacked the Justice Department and the FBI, including delusional rhetoric based on conspiracy theories about a  “deep state” that he says is out to get him. In September, at a rally for his 2020 re-election campaign, he accused the agencies of not doing their jobs and indicated he wants them to prosecute Hillary Clinton.

There were 340 corruption prosecutions during the first 11 months of the 2018 budget year, which ended Sept. 30. That indicates the annual total will be about 371 cases, down almost 24% from the previous year, which began under President Obama.

There were 906 federal corruption prosecutions two decades ago, when Bill Clinton was president, TRAC reported. That means at Trumpian levels prosecutions are down almost 60% from 1998, despite a larger population.

Theft or bribery in programs receiving federal funds accounted for 70 of the 340 prosecutions in the first 11 months of the 2018 budget year. Just half that many cases were filed for conspiracy to defraud the United States. The third most frequent lead criminal charge was violations of the 1946 Hobbs Act, which covers corruption involving extortion.

Over many years of delving deeply into official federal data, TRAC has shown wide variations in how federal laws are enforced by examining charges filed in each of the 90 federal judicial districts. For example, many of the 90 United States attorneys rarely or never pursue income tax fraud cases.

Approvals and denials of Social Security disability claims are so different from one administrative law judge to the next that TRAC issued a 2011 report showing that decisions “depend more on the judge than facts.”

Of the 340 corruption prosecutions cases that TRAC examined, the largest number of filings was in Manhattan, the nation’s banking center, where 17 corruption cases were brought. There were 16 cases filed in the Western District of North Carolina, which includes Charlotte, America’s second-largest banking center.

The prosecution records were obtained using the Freedom of Information Act. The data was then analyzed, case by case, by researchers at the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), which gathers up raw federal data. Through analysis imbues the official numbers with meaning. TRAC is run by Professor Susan Long and David Burnham, the journalist whose 1970 series on New York Police Department corruption prompted the movie Serpico and a television series of the same name.

TRAC also reports on data from the IRS, DEA, FBI, the ATF (Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms), immigration and the administrative law system. Its focus is on federal funding, staffing and enforcement actions.

 

The post Corrupt Government Officials Have Less to Fear Under Trump appeared first on DCReport.org.

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Corrupt Government Officials Have Less to Fear Under Trump

Read more of this story here from DCReport.org by David Crook.

Study Finds a Sharp Decline in Prosecutions, Down 25% from Obama Administration

David Cay Johnston

Under Donald Trump, federal corruption prosecutions dropped by nearly a quarter, Syracuse University researchers found after analyzing detailed new Justice Department data.

The long-term trend shows that under Trump a steady decline in federal law enforcement efforts against government corruption is accelerating. Trump has repeatedly attacked the Justice Department and the FBI, including delusional rhetoric based on conspiracy theories about a  “deep state” that he says is out to get him. In September, at a rally for his 2020 re-election campaign, he accused the agencies of not doing their jobs and indicated he wants them to prosecute Hillary Clinton.

There were 340 corruption prosecutions during the first 11 months of the 2018 budget year, which ended Sept. 30. That indicates the annual total will be about 371 cases, down almost 24% from the previous year, which began under President Obama.

There were 906 federal corruption prosecutions two decades ago, when Bill Clinton was president, TRAC reported. That means at Trumpian levels prosecutions are down almost 60% from 1998, despite a larger population.

Theft or bribery in programs receiving federal funds accounted for 70 of the 340 prosecutions in the first 11 months of the 2018 budget year. Just half that many cases were filed for conspiracy to defraud the United States. The third most frequent lead criminal charge was violations of the 1946 Hobbs Act, which covers corruption involving extortion.

Over many years of delving deeply into official federal data, TRAC has shown wide variations in how federal laws are enforced by examining charges filed in each of the 90 federal judicial districts. For example, many of the 90 United States attorneys rarely or never pursue income tax fraud cases.

Approvals and denials of Social Security disability claims are so different from one administrative law judge to the next that TRAC issued a 2011 report showing that decisions “depend more on the judge than facts.”

Of the 340 corruption prosecutions cases that TRAC examined, the largest number of filings was in Manhattan, the nation’s banking center, where 17 corruption cases were brought. There were 16 cases filed in the Western District of North Carolina, which includes Charlotte, America’s second-largest banking center.

The prosecution records were obtained using the Freedom of Information Act. The data was then analyzed, case by case, by researchers at the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), which gathers up raw federal data. Through analysis imbues the official numbers with meaning. TRAC is run by Professor Susan Long and David Burnham, the journalist whose 1970 series on New York Police Department corruption prompted the movie Serpico and a television series of the same name.

TRAC also reports on data from the IRS, DEA, FBI, the ATF (Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms), immigration and the administrative law system. Its focus is on federal funding, staffing and enforcement actions.

 

The post Corrupt Government Officials Have Less to Fear Under Trump appeared first on DCReport.org.

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Corrupt Government Officials Have Less to Fear Under Trump

Read more of this story here from DCReport.org by David Crook.

Study Finds a Sharp Decline in Prosecutions, Down 25% from Obama Administration

David Cay Johnston

Under Donald Trump, federal corruption prosecutions dropped by nearly a quarter, Syracuse University researchers found after analyzing detailed new Justice Department data.

The long-term trend shows that under Trump a steady decline in federal law enforcement efforts against government corruption is accelerating. Trump has repeatedly attacked the Justice Department and the FBI, including delusional rhetoric based on conspiracy theories about a  “deep state” that he says is out to get him. In September, at a rally for his 2020 re-election campaign, he accused the agencies of not doing their jobs and indicated he wants them to prosecute Hillary Clinton.

There were 340 corruption prosecutions during the first 11 months of the 2018 budget year, which ended Sept. 30. That indicates the annual total will be about 371 cases, down almost 24% from the previous year, which began under President Obama.

There were 906 federal corruption prosecutions two decades ago, when Bill Clinton was president, TRAC reported. That means at Trumpian levels prosecutions are down almost 60% from 1998, despite a larger population.

Theft or bribery in programs receiving federal funds accounted for 70 of the 340 prosecutions in the first 11 months of the 2018 budget year. Just half that many cases were filed for conspiracy to defraud the United States. The third most frequent lead criminal charge was violations of the 1946 Hobbs Act, which covers corruption involving extortion.

Over many years of delving deeply into official federal data, TRAC has shown wide variations in how federal laws are enforced by examining charges filed in each of the 90 federal judicial districts. For example, many of the 90 United States attorneys rarely or never pursue income tax fraud cases.

Approvals and denials of Social Security disability claims are so different from one administrative law judge to the next that TRAC issued a 2011 report showing that decisions “depend more on the judge than facts.”

Of the 340 corruption prosecutions cases that TRAC examined, the largest number of filings was in Manhattan, the nation’s banking center, where 17 corruption cases were brought. There were 16 cases filed in the Western District of North Carolina, which includes Charlotte, America’s second-largest banking center.

The prosecution records were obtained using the Freedom of Information Act. The data was then analyzed, case by case, by researchers at the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), which gathers up raw federal data. Through analysis imbues the official numbers with meaning. TRAC is run by Professor Susan Long and David Burnham, the journalist whose 1970 series on New York Police Department corruption prompted the movie Serpico and a television series of the same name.

TRAC also reports on data from the IRS, DEA, FBI, the ATF (Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms), immigration and the administrative law system. Its focus is on federal funding, staffing and enforcement actions.

 

The post Corrupt Government Officials Have Less to Fear Under Trump appeared first on DCReport.org.

Read more

Corrupt Government Officials Have Less to Fear Under Trump

Read more of this story here from DCReport.org by David Crook.

Study Finds a Sharp Decline in Prosecutions, Down 25% from Obama Administration

David Cay Johnston

Under Donald Trump, federal corruption prosecutions dropped by nearly a quarter, Syracuse University researchers found after analyzing detailed new Justice Department data.

The long-term trend shows that under Trump a steady decline in federal law enforcement efforts against government corruption is accelerating. Trump has repeatedly attacked the Justice Department and the FBI, including delusional rhetoric based on conspiracy theories about a  “deep state” that he says is out to get him. In September, at a rally for his 2020 re-election campaign, he accused the agencies of not doing their jobs and indicated he wants them to prosecute Hillary Clinton.

There were 340 corruption prosecutions during the first 11 months of the 2018 budget year, which ended Sept. 30. That indicates the annual total will be about 371 cases, down almost 24% from the previous year, which began under President Obama.

There were 906 federal corruption prosecutions two decades ago, when Bill Clinton was president, TRAC reported. That means at Trumpian levels prosecutions are down almost 60% from 1998, despite a larger population.

Theft or bribery in programs receiving federal funds accounted for 70 of the 340 prosecutions in the first 11 months of the 2018 budget year. Just half that many cases were filed for conspiracy to defraud the United States. The third most frequent lead criminal charge was violations of the 1946 Hobbs Act, which covers corruption involving extortion.

Over many years of delving deeply into official federal data, TRAC has shown wide variations in how federal laws are enforced by examining charges filed in each of the 90 federal judicial districts. For example, many of the 90 United States attorneys rarely or never pursue income tax fraud cases.

Approvals and denials of Social Security disability claims are so different from one administrative law judge to the next that TRAC issued a 2011 report showing that decisions “depend more on the judge than facts.”

Of the 340 corruption prosecutions cases that TRAC examined, the largest number of filings was in Manhattan, the nation’s banking center, where 17 corruption cases were brought. There were 16 cases filed in the Western District of North Carolina, which includes Charlotte, America’s second-largest banking center.

The prosecution records were obtained using the Freedom of Information Act. The data was then analyzed, case by case, by researchers at the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), which gathers up raw federal data. Through analysis imbues the official numbers with meaning. TRAC is run by Professor Susan Long and David Burnham, the journalist whose 1970 series on New York Police Department corruption prompted the movie Serpico and a television series of the same name.

TRAC also reports on data from the IRS, DEA, FBI, the ATF (Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms), immigration and the administrative law system. Its focus is on federal funding, staffing and enforcement actions.

 

The post Corrupt Government Officials Have Less to Fear Under Trump appeared first on DCReport.org.

Read more

Corrupt Government Officials Have Less to Fear Under Trump

Read more of this story here from DCReport.org by David Crook.

Study Finds a Sharp Decline in Prosecutions, Down 25% from Obama Administration

David Cay Johnston

Under Donald Trump, federal corruption prosecutions dropped by nearly a quarter, Syracuse University researchers found after analyzing detailed new Justice Department data.

The long-term trend shows that under Trump a steady decline in federal law enforcement efforts against government corruption is accelerating. Trump has repeatedly attacked the Justice Department and the FBI, including delusional rhetoric based on conspiracy theories about a  “deep state” that he says is out to get him. In September, at a rally for his 2020 re-election campaign, he accused the agencies of not doing their jobs and indicated he wants them to prosecute Hillary Clinton.

There were 340 corruption prosecutions during the first 11 months of the 2018 budget year, which ended Sept. 30. That indicates the annual total will be about 371 cases, down almost 24% from the previous year, which began under President Obama.

There were 906 federal corruption prosecutions two decades ago, when Bill Clinton was president, TRAC reported. That means at Trumpian levels prosecutions are down almost 60% from 1998, despite a larger population.

Theft or bribery in programs receiving federal funds accounted for 70 of the 340 prosecutions in the first 11 months of the 2018 budget year. Just half that many cases were filed for conspiracy to defraud the United States. The third most frequent lead criminal charge was violations of the 1946 Hobbs Act, which covers corruption involving extortion.

Over many years of delving deeply into official federal data, TRAC has shown wide variations in how federal laws are enforced by examining charges filed in each of the 90 federal judicial districts. For example, many of the 90 United States attorneys rarely or never pursue income tax fraud cases.

Approvals and denials of Social Security disability claims are so different from one administrative law judge to the next that TRAC issued a 2011 report showing that decisions “depend more on the judge than facts.”

Of the 340 corruption prosecutions cases that TRAC examined, the largest number of filings was in Manhattan, the nation’s banking center, where 17 corruption cases were brought. There were 16 cases filed in the Western District of North Carolina, which includes Charlotte, America’s second-largest banking center.

The prosecution records were obtained using the Freedom of Information Act. The data was then analyzed, case by case, by researchers at the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), which gathers up raw federal data. Through analysis imbues the official numbers with meaning. TRAC is run by Professor Susan Long and David Burnham, the journalist whose 1970 series on New York Police Department corruption prompted the movie Serpico and a television series of the same name.

TRAC also reports on data from the IRS, DEA, FBI, the ATF (Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms), immigration and the administrative law system. Its focus is on federal funding, staffing and enforcement actions.

 

The post Corrupt Government Officials Have Less to Fear Under Trump appeared first on DCReport.org.

Read more

Corrupt Government Officials Have Less to Fear Under Trump

Read more of this story here from DCReport.org by David Crook.

Study Finds a Sharp Decline in Prosecutions, Down 25% from Obama Administration

David Cay Johnston

Under Donald Trump, federal corruption prosecutions dropped by nearly a quarter, Syracuse University researchers found after analyzing detailed new Justice Department data.

The long-term trend shows that under Trump a steady decline in federal law enforcement efforts against government corruption is accelerating. Trump has repeatedly attacked the Justice Department and the FBI, including delusional rhetoric based on conspiracy theories about a  “deep state” that he says is out to get him. In September, at a rally for his 2020 re-election campaign, he accused the agencies of not doing their jobs and indicated he wants them to prosecute Hillary Clinton.

There were 340 corruption prosecutions during the first 11 months of the 2018 budget year, which ended Sept. 30. That indicates the annual total will be about 371 cases, down almost 24% from the previous year, which began under President Obama.

There were 906 federal corruption prosecutions two decades ago, when Bill Clinton was president, TRAC reported. That means at Trumpian levels prosecutions are down almost 60% from 1998, despite a larger population.

Theft or bribery in programs receiving federal funds accounted for 70 of the 340 prosecutions in the first 11 months of the 2018 budget year. Just half that many cases were filed for conspiracy to defraud the United States. The third most frequent lead criminal charge was violations of the 1946 Hobbs Act, which covers corruption involving extortion.

Over many years of delving deeply into official federal data, TRAC has shown wide variations in how federal laws are enforced by examining charges filed in each of the 90 federal judicial districts. For example, many of the 90 United States attorneys rarely or never pursue income tax fraud cases.

Approvals and denials of Social Security disability claims are so different from one administrative law judge to the next that TRAC issued a 2011 report showing that decisions “depend more on the judge than facts.”

Of the 340 corruption prosecutions cases that TRAC examined, the largest number of filings was in Manhattan, the nation’s banking center, where 17 corruption cases were brought. There were 16 cases filed in the Western District of North Carolina, which includes Charlotte, America’s second-largest banking center.

The prosecution records were obtained using the Freedom of Information Act. The data was then analyzed, case by case, by researchers at the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), which gathers up raw federal data. Through analysis imbues the official numbers with meaning. TRAC is run by Professor Susan Long and David Burnham, the journalist whose 1970 series on New York Police Department corruption prompted the movie Serpico and a television series of the same name.

TRAC also reports on data from the IRS, DEA, FBI, the ATF (Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms), immigration and the administrative law system. Its focus is on federal funding, staffing and enforcement actions.

 

The post Corrupt Government Officials Have Less to Fear Under Trump appeared first on DCReport.org.

Read more

Corrupt Government Officials Have Less to Fear Under Trump

Read more of this story here from DCReport.org by David Crook.

Study Finds a Sharp Decline in Prosecutions, Down 25% from Obama Administration

David Cay Johnston

Under Donald Trump, federal corruption prosecutions dropped by nearly a quarter, Syracuse University researchers found after analyzing detailed new Justice Department data.

The long-term trend shows that under Trump a steady decline in federal law enforcement efforts against government corruption is accelerating. Trump has repeatedly attacked the Justice Department and the FBI, including delusional rhetoric based on conspiracy theories about a  “deep state” that he says is out to get him. In September, at a rally for his 2020 re-election campaign, he accused the agencies of not doing their jobs and indicated he wants them to prosecute Hillary Clinton.

There were 340 corruption prosecutions during the first 11 months of the 2018 budget year, which ended Sept. 30. That indicates the annual total will be about 371 cases, down almost 24% from the previous year, which began under President Obama.

There were 906 federal corruption prosecutions two decades ago, when Bill Clinton was president, TRAC reported. That means at Trumpian levels prosecutions are down almost 60% from 1998, despite a larger population.

Theft or bribery in programs receiving federal funds accounted for 70 of the 340 prosecutions in the first 11 months of the 2018 budget year. Just half that many cases were filed for conspiracy to defraud the United States. The third most frequent lead criminal charge was violations of the 1946 Hobbs Act, which covers corruption involving extortion.

Over many years of delving deeply into official federal data, TRAC has shown wide variations in how federal laws are enforced by examining charges filed in each of the 90 federal judicial districts. For example, many of the 90 United States attorneys rarely or never pursue income tax fraud cases.

Approvals and denials of Social Security disability claims are so different from one administrative law judge to the next that TRAC issued a 2011 report showing that decisions “depend more on the judge than facts.”

Of the 340 corruption prosecutions cases that TRAC examined, the largest number of filings was in Manhattan, the nation’s banking center, where 17 corruption cases were brought. There were 16 cases filed in the Western District of North Carolina, which includes Charlotte, America’s second-largest banking center.

The prosecution records were obtained using the Freedom of Information Act. The data was then analyzed, case by case, by researchers at the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), which gathers up raw federal data. Through analysis imbues the official numbers with meaning. TRAC is run by Professor Susan Long and David Burnham, the journalist whose 1970 series on New York Police Department corruption prompted the movie Serpico and a television series of the same name.

TRAC also reports on data from the IRS, DEA, FBI, the ATF (Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms), immigration and the administrative law system. Its focus is on federal funding, staffing and enforcement actions.

 

The post Corrupt Government Officials Have Less to Fear Under Trump appeared first on DCReport.org.

Read more

Corrupt Government Officials Have Less to Fear Under Trump

Read more of this story here from DCReport.org by David Crook.

Study Finds a Sharp Decline in Prosecutions, Down 25% from Obama Administration

David Cay Johnston

Under Donald Trump, federal corruption prosecutions dropped by nearly a quarter, Syracuse University researchers found after analyzing detailed new Justice Department data.

The long-term trend shows that under Trump a steady decline in federal law enforcement efforts against government corruption is accelerating. Trump has repeatedly attacked the Justice Department and the FBI, including delusional rhetoric based on conspiracy theories about a  “deep state” that he says is out to get him. In September, at a rally for his 2020 re-election campaign, he accused the agencies of not doing their jobs and indicated he wants them to prosecute Hillary Clinton.

There were 340 corruption prosecutions during the first 11 months of the 2018 budget year, which ended Sept. 30. That indicates the annual total will be about 371 cases, down almost 24% from the previous year, which began under President Obama.

There were 906 federal corruption prosecutions two decades ago, when Bill Clinton was president, TRAC reported. That means at Trumpian levels prosecutions are down almost 60% from 1998, despite a larger population.

Theft or bribery in programs receiving federal funds accounted for 70 of the 340 prosecutions in the first 11 months of the 2018 budget year. Just half that many cases were filed for conspiracy to defraud the United States. The third most frequent lead criminal charge was violations of the 1946 Hobbs Act, which covers corruption involving extortion.

Over many years of delving deeply into official federal data, TRAC has shown wide variations in how federal laws are enforced by examining charges filed in each of the 90 federal judicial districts. For example, many of the 90 United States attorneys rarely or never pursue income tax fraud cases.

Approvals and denials of Social Security disability claims are so different from one administrative law judge to the next that TRAC issued a 2011 report showing that decisions “depend more on the judge than facts.”

Of the 340 corruption prosecutions cases that TRAC examined, the largest number of filings was in Manhattan, the nation’s banking center, where 17 corruption cases were brought. There were 16 cases filed in the Western District of North Carolina, which includes Charlotte, America’s second-largest banking center.

The prosecution records were obtained using the Freedom of Information Act. The data was then analyzed, case by case, by researchers at the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), which gathers up raw federal data. Through analysis imbues the official numbers with meaning. TRAC is run by Professor Susan Long and David Burnham, the journalist whose 1970 series on New York Police Department corruption prompted the movie Serpico and a television series of the same name.

TRAC also reports on data from the IRS, DEA, FBI, the ATF (Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms), immigration and the administrative law system. Its focus is on federal funding, staffing and enforcement actions.

 

The post Corrupt Government Officials Have Less to Fear Under Trump appeared first on DCReport.org.

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