The New York Post’s piece today (Trump’s CNN tirade may affect Time Warner-AT&T merger) reminded me of my post election predictions about President Elect Trump (below) that was initially published on Robert Connolly’s blog, Cartel Capers. But one might reasonably ask, what does the Antitrust Division and Cartel Enforcement have to do with grant fraud and procurement fraud enforcement? The answer to that question is…perhaps nothing. For instance, the Obama Administration ensured that the Antitrust Division would have have very little if anything to do with grant and procurement fraud enforcement. As a result, procurement fraud case filings “fell off the table” and grant fraud enforcement innovations were frozen. On the other hand, if a Trump Administration were to take the approach of the second GW Bush Administration, the Antitrust Division could play a crucial role in helping support a vibrant grant fraud and procurement fraud enforcement program. As I will lay out in a future column, the Antitrust Division played a crucial and largely unsung role (the way it likes it) in supporting National Procurement Fraud Task Force’s (NPFTF) efforts to root out grant fraud and procurement fraud. The lost opportunity in the Obama Administration’s approach was that the Antitrust Division can devote significant resources to procurement and grant fraud enforcement, without compromising its primary mission, Cartel Enforcement. Because the resources in any case come from the criminal enforcement side of the house, civil enforcement is unaffected.
I will devote another column to how it can be possible that the Department of Justice can gear extensive resources from the Antitrust Division towards grant fraud and procurement fraud enforcement while it simultaneously emboldens the Antitrust Division’s civil enforcement and cartel enforcement programs.