June 5, 2017
Corporate Offenders Swamp Trump
Since Election Day, Executives Representing 122 Corporate Offenders That Have Paid Nearly $90 Billion in Penalties Since 2010 Have Met With Trump
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The corporate executives who have met with President Donald Trump since he was elected represent 122 corporate offenders that paid a fine or penalty since 2010, a Public Citizen analysis shows.
Including fines associated with Goldman Sachs and ExxonMobil – effectively represented inside the administration by former executives Gary Cohn and Rex Tillerson – the companies have paid a total of nearly $90 billion in penalties imposed by the U.S. Department of Justice and federal regulatory enforcement agencies to resolve regulatory and legal violations.
In a previous report, Public Citizen tallied meetings between Trump and corporate executives during the first 100 days of Trump’s presidency. Today’s report is based on the Violation Tracker database, which is produced by the Corporate Research Project of Good Jobs First. It supplements the earlier report’s corporate executive meeting data with Politico’s Unauthorized White House visitor log, the most comprehensive resource available for tracking presidential meetings.
“At the same time the administration is demanding outrageously harsh sentences for nonviolent criminal offenders, the president is consorting with a rogue’s gallery of CEOs who have ripped off, cheated, poisoned and injured countless Americans,” said Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen.
The bulk of the penalties, or nearly $86 billion, were paid by 15 megacorporations. JPMorgan Chase paid the largest amount in penalties – more than $28 billion since 2010 – largely to resolve U.S. Department of Justice lawsuits connected with abusive actions related to the 2008 financial crisis.
Other executives who have met with Trump are from Volkswagen (fined more than $19 billion in penalties connected with its conspiracy to use illegal “defeat devices” to cheat required fuel efficiency tests), HSBC (paid more than $4 billion to settle allegations for numerous violations), Citigroup (paid more than $15 billion, largely to settle allegations of violations related to the 2008 financial crash) and Goldman Sachs (paid more than $9 billion, also mostly to settle allegations of violations related to the financial crisis).
“President Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions talk tough about crime, but in practice, the Trump-Sessions era of federal law enforcement demonstrates zero tolerance for undocumented immigrants and low-level offenders while showing a high degree of lenience to corporate offenders,” Weissman said.