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Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden acknowledges the crowd during a campaign rally Saturday, March 7, 2020, in Kansas City, Mo. Photo: Charlie Riedel/AP

Four years ago, as Donald Trump prepared to take office, corporate America and its defense lawyers had reason to believe that a lighter touch was coming from the U.S. Department of Justice and other agencies.

It was more than mere conjecture, deeper than a simple—or false, as some argue—correlation between Republican administrations and declines in corporate enforcement activity. In Trump, there was a record of antipathy toward laws he viewed as inhibiting business, namely a prohibition against foreign bribery that has given rise to some of the highest-dollar enforcement actions brought by the Justice Department.

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C. Ryan Barber

C. Ryan Barber, based in Washington, covers government affairs and regulatory compliance. Contact him at [email protected]. On Twitter: @cryanbarber

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Cheryl Miller

Cheryl Miller, based in Sacramento, covers the state legislature and emerging industries, including autonomous vehicles and marijuana. She authors the weekly cannabis newsletter Higher Law. Contact her at [email protected]. On Twitter: @CapitalAccounts

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Melanie Waddell

Melanie is Washington Bureau Chief, Investment Advisory Group. She also covers regulatory and compliance issues. Her column, The Playing Field, appears in Investment Advisor and on ThinkAdvisor.com, and she also writes the briefing and produces the podcast, Human Capital. Earlier in her career, Melanie covered financial issues at American Banker/Thomson Media publications in Washington and New York. You can reach her at [email protected] On twitter: @Think_MelanieW

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