Banks & companies reviewing their political donations after Capitol violence

Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Citigroup Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. plan to pause all political contributions, joining a growing list of companies changing or reviewing their donation policies after a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol and some Republican lawmakers tried to overturn Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s win in the presidential election.

Goldman Sachs is freezing donations through its PAC and will conduct “a thorough assessment of how people acted during this period,” a spokesman, Jake Siewert, told DealBook.

JPMorgan Chase is halting donations through its PAC for six months. “There will be plenty of time for campaigning later,” said Peter Scher, the bank’s head of corporate responsibility. Citigroup is postponing all campaign contributions for a quarter. “We want you to be assured that we will not support candidates who do not respect the rule of law,” Candi Wolff, the bank’s head of government affairs, wrote in an internal memo.

Some companies are pausing donations to specific politicians. Morgan Stanley is suspending all PAC contributions to members of Congress who did not vote to certify the results of the Electoral College, a spokesman said.

Marriott said it would pause donations from its PAC “to those who voted against the certification of the election,” a spokeswoman told DealBook. She did not say how long the break would last or how the hotel chain (not a bank as was earlier reported here) would decide when to resume.

Blue Cross Blue Shield, Boston Scientific and Commerce Bancshares are taking a similar, targeted approach to donation freezes. The newsletter Popular Information is tracking the responses of these and other companies that donated to lawmakers who challenged the election result.

The action from the banks followed an earlier announcement from Marriott International Inc., which said it will suspend donations to Republican senators who voted against certifying President-elect Joe Biden, after considering the “destructive events” on Wednesday.

“We have taken the destructive events at the Capitol to undermine a legitimate and fair election into consideration and will be pausing political giving from our Political Action Committee to those who voted against the certification of the election,” a Marriott spokesperson said.

The hotel giant was among the first corporate donors to announce the severing of financial ties with the lawmakers following the Capitol Hill riot by supporters of President Donald Trump. While much of corporate America swiftly condemned the violence, few companies have publicly vowed to cut off financial support to the elected officials that backed Trump’s baseless claims of election fraud.

Other companies, including Bank of America, FedEx and Wells Fargo, said they would review their corporate contribution strategy.

 

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