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Banks and corporations pause political donations following Capitol violence

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Banks and other big corporations have suspended Political Action Committee (PAC) donations following Wednesday’s U.S. Capitol violence.

Goldman Sachs is freezing PAC donations and will conduct “a thorough assessment of how people acted during this period,” a spokesman, Jake Siewert, told the New York Times.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Citigroup Inc. said they are pausing all PAC donations to Republicans and Democrats for the coming months.

JPMorgan Chase is halting donations for six months.

“There will be plenty of time for campaigning later,” said Peter Scher, JPMorgan Chase’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 Citigroup’s head of government affairs, said in a statement.

Other banks, including Bank of America and Wells Fargo, have not suspended political donations but are reviewing their corporate contribution strategy.

Meanwhile, other companies, including Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance group and Marriott International Inc., are pausing donations to Republican lawmakers who objected to President-elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College win.

Blue Cross Blue Shield said in a statement that lawmakers “voted to undermine our democracy.”

A spokesperson from Marriott told The Times it would pause donations from its PAC “to those who voted against certification of the election.”

More companies are expected to come forward in the coming days.

Follow Annaliese Levy on Twitter @AnnalieseLevy

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Trump: Tanks to Ukraine could escalate to use of ‘NUKES’

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Former President Donald Trump stated bluntly on Truth Social,  “FIRST COME THE TANKS, THEN COME THE NUKES. Get this crazy war ended, NOW. So easy to do!”

Trump was referring to the escalation of war in Ukraine. He, like many other commentators and lawmakers, are warning that the decision to continue sending weapons – and now tanks – could potentially lead to the use of “nuclear weapons.”

It’s mission creep and it’s dangerous, they say.

Why? Because Russian President Valdimir Putin has indicated in two different speeches that he would use nuclear weapons to defend Russia, if needed. Those warnings are not just bluster but a very real possibility.

And the escalation of war is visible.

Russia launched 55 missiles strikes across Ukraine Thursday, leaving 11 dead. The strikes come one day after the United States and Germany agreed to send tanks to Ukraine in an effort to aide the country. 47 of the 55 missiles were shot down according to Ukraine’s Air Force command.

Eleven lives were lost and another 11 were injured additionally leaving 35 buildings damaged in the wake of the attacks. According to The New York Times, Denys Shmyhal, said in a post on Telegram. “The main goal is energy facilities, providing Ukrainians with light and heat,” he said.

Ukraine is now demanding that they need F-16 fighter jets. In a post on twitter Ukrainian lawmaker, Oleksiy Goncharenko said, “Missiles again over Ukraine. We need F16.”

The US has abstained from sending advanced jets in the chances that a volatile decision could foster more dangerous attacks like former President Trump’s post on Truth referred to. If the US did authorize the decision to lend Ukraine the F-16 jets Netherlands’ foreign minister, Wopke Hoekstra, would be willing to supply them. According to The New York Times, Hoekstra told Dutch lawmakers, “We are open-minded… There are no taboos.”

F-16 fighter jets are complex to work on, they are not the average aircraft that can be learned in a matter of weeks. It can take months for pilots to learn how to fly these birds. European and US officials have the concern that Ukrainian forces could potentially use the jets to fly into Russian airspace and launch attacks on Russian soil.

Western allies are trying to avoid such a provocation, because that could lead to nuclear warfare in reference to what Putin has said he would do to defend his country.

 

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