Politics

Goldman Sachs Bans Donations to Trump

Bank that paid Clinton hundreds of thousands now concerned with appearance of 'pay-to-play'

Goldman Sachs, the investment bank that paid Hillary Clinton hundreds of thousands of dollars for speeches, is now preventing partners of the firm to donate money to Donald Trump’s campaign.

The new rule bans the firm’s 467 partners from providing donations to “any federal candidate who is a sitting state or local official (e.g., governor running for president or vice president, such as the Trump/Pence ticket, or mayor running for Congress), including their Political Action Committees (PACs).”

The “reputational damage” caused by banning donations to one presidential campaign and not another does not appear to have been a concern of Goldman Sachs.

The Goldman rule, then, while banning donations to the Trump-Pence ticket (as sitting Indiana governor, Pence is a sitting state official), appears not to ban donations to the Clinton-Kaine ticket, since neither Democratic candidate is a sitting state or local official.

Goldman Sachs has yet to clarify why it has banned donations to Trump but not to Clinton.

The rule comes four years after Goldman Sachs was fined for making contributions to then-Massachusetts State Treasurer Timothy Cahill while he was a candidate for governor.

The Goldman Sachs memo states that “the policy change is also meant to minimize potential reputational damage caused by any false perception that the firm is attempting to circumvent pay-to-play rules, particularly given partners’ seniority and visibility.”

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The “reputational damage” caused by banning donations to one presidential campaign and not another does not appear to have been a concern of Goldman Sachs.

The rule comes with consequences if partners don’t abide by it.

“All failures to pre-clear political activities as outlined below are taken seriously and violations may result in disciplinary action.”

The Trump campaign has yet to publicly question the ban, although condemnation of the company’s discriminatory move would be unsurprising.

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