“We want you to be assured that we will not support candidates who do not respect the rule of law,” Citi’s head of global government affairs, Candi Wolff, told employees, in a memo.
Citi is one of three major Wall Street banks pausing political contributions following last week’s events on Capitol Hill. Goldman and JPMorgan will also suspend donations.
Marriott International, which has ties to Mitt Romney, took aim at specific wallets, cutting donations to any GOP candidates who opposed the certification of Joe Biden’s Electoral College win. “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 certification of the election,” a spokesperson said.
Likewise, Blue Cross Blue Shield Association and Commerce Bank said they won’t financially support any member of Congress who opposed the certification of the election results. “We continuously evaluate our political contributions to ensure those we support share our values and goals,” Blue Cross Blue Shield CEO Kim Keck remarked. “In light of this week’s violent, shocking assault on the United States Capitol, and the votes of some members of Congress to subvert the results of November’s election by challenging Electoral College results, BCSBA will suspend contributions to those lawmakers who voted to undermine our democracy.”
When considered in conjunction with the steps taken by Twitter, Apple, Google, and Amazon on Friday and over the weekend, the message is clear. Or, rather, it’s more accurate to say that the message corporate America heard from the president and his supporters was clear. That message was: “This is not a drill.”
For lack of a better way to describe the situation, there is now palpable concern in many corners that between the president, the GOP lawmakers who supported overturning the election (some of whom even exhorted Mike Pence to unilaterally throw out Biden’s electors, something Pence refused to do), and Trump’s most ardent supporters, the country is still at risk — and not just of succumbing to soft autocratic rule. But of being literally commandeered. I’d note the obvious, which is that such a thing is a logistical impossibility without military buy-in, but the fact that it’s come to this is extraordinary.
The “science fiction” scenario discussed (and preemptively lamented) in these pages at length on numerous occasions in September and October has unfolded, only on a delay. Thankfully, the government has held up — so far, anyway.
But the fact that corporations are cutting off contributions to specific lawmakers, indicates that corporate management teams believe those members of Congress are a threat to the country’s democracy. There’s no other way to put it. Indeed, some of the companies are making no secret of it. When you say, as Blue Cross Blue Shield did, that some lawmakers “voted to undermine our democracy,” you are, almost by definition, accusing those lawmakers of… well, you can fill in the blank. I’ve endeavored to eschew alarmist rhetoric where possible, and I will continue to refrain in that regard, even as C-suite executives no longer feel the need to dance around the issue.
On Sunday evening, in a letter to Democrats, Nancy Pelosi described next steps. On Monday morning, Steny Hoyer will request unanimous consent to bring up a resolution calling on Pence to activate the 25th Amendment. In short, Pelosi wants Pence to “immediately exercise powers as acting President.”
“If we do not receive Unanimous Consent, this legislation is planned to be brought up on the Floor the following day,” she went on to say, adding that “we are calling on the Vice President to respond within 24 hours. Next, we will proceed with bringing impeachment legislation to the Floor.”
In remarks to NBC, prominent Republican Senator Pat Toomey, who also spoke to CNN on Sunday, elaborated on his rationale for recommending Trump resign.
“After the election, he took this to an entire different place, orders of magnitude different. I mean, come on,” Toomey said, speaking to Chuck Todd. “The president spiraled down into a kind of madness.”