A full 20 major companies told The Washington Post that they are suspending some or all of their political donations to Republican legislators who objected to the Congressional certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s electoral college votes. These Republican members of Congress provided a pretense for a recent deadly riot at the Capitol, where a mob of violent Trump supporters tried to forcibly disrupt the process of certifying the electoral college outcome, which Trump and many of his allies falsely claimed over and over was dubious. In fact, no court anywhere in the country has at any point accepted the claims of systematic election fraud from the outgoing president and his allies.
WASHINGTON POST: "Lawmakers who objected to election results have been cut off from 20 of their 30 biggest corporate PAC donors" https://t.co/MzhAuSZ12R
— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) January 19, 2021
A total of 147 Republican members of Congress voted against certifying some of Biden’s electoral votes, effectively backing the disqualification of millions of duly documented votes from Americans across the country. Among the 30 companies that have given the most to these Republicans since 2015, besides the 20 who said that they would be suspending some or all of their political donations, nine companies said that they would be reviewing their political giving, and one company did not respond to requests for comment from The Washington Post.
Some of the top donors who are suspending donations to Republicans include AT&T, Comcast, Lockheed Martin, Honeywell, and UPS. Although each corporate PAC can only donate up to $5,000 per election cycle to individual campaigns, the overall total of these donations adds up. From 2015 through 2020, AT&T alone gave over $2 million to the Republican lawmakers in question, and overall, the 20 companies who told The Washington Post that they have suspended donations gave the 147 Republicans nearly $26 million since 2015. Additionally, besides the basic level of the financial support, the donations could function as political markers signifying corporate support for particular candidates.
According to the Post, “some companies that have not pledged any specific action are contractors for the U.S. government, and could be more worried about jeopardizing relationships in Washington.” University of Texas Professor Brian Richter commented that, in every case, changing up a company’s political giving is “really not as costly to the companies because there’s always a rebalancing of party giving when Congress and the president changes anyway.” Democrats, of course, are taking over the White House, and they’re set to soon take over the Senate as well, handing the party control of Congress.
Suspensions of corporate giving aren’t the only consequences that have emerged in the wake of the Capitol rioting that many top Republicans, including the outgoing president, helped incite. The House impeached Trump for a second time, and Republican Senators like Lisa Murkowski and Ben Sasse have already expressed a level of openness to the step. Beyond Trump’s presidency, D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine (D) suggested recently that there could be criminal charges for those who incited the violence. Once Trump leaves office this week, any tentative protections from criminal proceedings that the presidency provided will be gone.
Trump has not acknowledged his role in inciting the rioting. In the initial aftermath, he justified what took place, writing on his since-removed Twitter account that “these are the things and events that happen” when an election victory is stolen, which, of course, did not actually take place.