Right-to-Know

Trump has secretive teams to roll back regulations, led by hires with deep Industry ties

President Trump signed an executive order in February requiring federal agencies to form deregulation teams, many of which are now staffed by political appointees with potential conflicts. Photo: Doug Mills/The New York Times

WASHINGTON, DC — “President Trump entered office pledging to cut red tape, and within weeks, he ordered his administration to assemble teams to aggressively scale back government regulations.

But the effort — a signature theme in Trump’s populist campaign for the White House — is being conducted in large part out of public view and often by political appointees with deep industry ties and potential conflicts.

Most government agencies have declined to disclose information about their deregulation teams. But ProPublica and The New York Times identified 71 appointees, including 28 with potential conflicts, through interviews, public records and documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.

Some appointees are reviewing rules their previous employers sought to weaken or kill, and at least two may be positioned to profit if certain regulations are undone.

The appointees include lawyers who have represented businesses in cases against government regulators, staff members of political dark money groups, employees of industry-funded organizations opposed to environmental rules and at least three people who were registered to lobby the agencies they now work for.”

— Robert Faturechi, ProPublica, and Danielle Ivory, The New York Times

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