A Corporate Backlash

Want to get The Morning by email? Here’s the sign-up.

Good morning. Companies are halting donations to Congress members who backed overturning the election result.

Large corporations and their lobbyists usually try to steer clear of messy political fights. Companies prefer to work behind the scenes, giving money to both political parties and quietly influencing tax policy, spending and regulation.

But President Trump’s effort to overturn the result of the presidential election — and the violent attack on Congress by his supporters — has created a dilemma for many companies. A growing number have decided that they are, at least for now, not willing to support members of Congress who backed Trump’s efforts to change the election result and promoted lies about election fraud.

Over the weekend, several large companies — Marriott, Blue Cross Blue Shield and Commerce Bancshares — announced a suspension of donations to members of Congress who voted against election certification. Yesterday, the list expanded to Amazon, AT&T, Comcast, Airbnb, Mastercard, Verizon and Dow, the chemical company. Hallmark has even asked for its money back from two of the senators who opposed certification, Josh Hawley and Roger Marshall.

“Just a few days ago, this would have been unthinkable,” Judd Legum — the author of the Popular Information newsletter, who has done the best recent reporting on corporate donations — told me.

In the Senate, the temporary ban on donations will also affect Rick Scott of Florida, Ted Cruz of Texas and a few other members. In the House, the group includes more than half of the Republican caucus, including its two top leaders, Kevin McCarthy and Steve Scalise.

“We have to create some level of cost,” Thomas Glocer, a board member at Morgan Stanley and Merck, told The Wall Street Journal. “Money is the key way.”

The National Association of Manufacturers, long one of the more conservative business lobbying groups, has been particularly harsh. It called out Republicans who “cheered on” Trump during his “disgusting” effort to overturn the election, which it said had “inflamed violent anger.” The association added: “This is sedition and should be treated as such.”

Still, many large companies have not announced a change. (And other companies, like Goldman Sachs and Google’s parent, have announced a pause on all political donations — a move that seems designed to prevent public criticism while also not angering politicians who supported attempted election fraud.)

McDonald’s and the tobacco company Altria, which are among the top 20 donors to McCarthy, the House Republican leader, have not announced a halt on donations to any Congress members. Neither has Bank of America (a major donor to Scott), although it said it would “review its decision making.”

The well-connected law firm Squire Patton Boggs has also not announced any policy change. It has donated to Paul Gosar, a House member from Arizona who helped promote the Jan. 6 rally that turned violent, tweeting “#FightForTrump” and “The Time Is Now. Hold the Line.”

What’s the bottom line? I asked Andrew Ross Sorkin, the Times columnist who has spent two decades covering corporate leaders, and he said that the announcements amounted to “temporary defensive moves.” The real question was whether, six months from now, the companies would go back to donating to the politicians who supported overturning a presidential election.

For more, read Andrew’s latest column, which argues for a permanent end to corporate political donations.

THE LATEST NEWS

Impeachment

House Democrats introduced an article of impeachment against Trump, charging him with “inciting violence against the government of the United States.”

The article refers to the 14th Amendment, a post-Civil War addition to the Constitution that bars office holders who “engaged in insurrection or rebellion.”

Today, the House is likely to pass a resolution imploring Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office. If Pence does not act, Democrats said, they may impeach Trump tomorrow.

More Riot Fallout

The Justice Department and the F.B.I. are pursuing at least 150 suspects, and the Capitol Police have opened internal inquiries into about 10 to 15 officers.

Chad Wolf resigned as the acting secretary of Homeland Security, the agency that is in charge of security at the inauguration.

Companies and institutions are shunning Trump — including Deutsche Bank, his primary lender for decades.

Bill Belichick, the coach of the New England Patriots, said he would not accept the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Trump this week.

Officials around the country are bracing for potential spillover from the assault on the Capitol.

Videos show how rioters pulled three officers down a set of stairs while trying to breach the building. And The Times reconstructed the two hours during which a Trump rally gave way to a mob that nearly came face to face with Congress. Here’s the timeline.

And here’s what we know about the people who died during the riot.

The Transition

Biden picked William Burns to run the C.I.A. Burns is a career State Department official who led the U.S. delegation in talks with Iran.

Biden asked congressional Democrats whether they could “bifurcate” their work, splitting days between impeachment and enacting his agenda.

The National Guard will deploy up to 15,000 troops to Washington for the inauguration next week. Several far-right groups have planned protests.

The Virus

Chicago reopened public-school classrooms for the first time since March, for 6,000 prekindergarten and special-education students.

Biden received his second, final dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

Two Democratic congresswomen said they had tested positive for the virus after hiding alongside other lawmakers, some of whom refused masks, during the Capitol attack.

Several gorillas at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park tested positive, the first known apes in the country to do so. “Aside from some congestion and coughing, the gorillas are doing well,” the zoo’s executive director said.

Other Big Stories

U.S. greenhouse gas emissions plunged in 2020 because of the pandemic. “Depending on how quickly people feel comfortable enough to drive and fly again, we’d expect emissions to rebound unless there are major policy changes,” Kate Larsen, a researcher, said.

The State Department designated Cuba a state sponsor of terrorism. The move could make it harder for the Biden administration to warm up relations.

Andrew Yang, who is planning to run for mayor of New York City, explained why he was upstate during the pandemic: “Can you imagine trying to have two kids on virtual school in a two-bedroom apartment, and then trying to do work yourself?” His opponents pounced.

Alabama won its sixth college football national championship in 12 years, beating Ohio State, 52-24.

Morning Reads

A Morning Read: Visit the pleasure garden of the Roman emperor Caligula, where frescoes and peacock bones tell extraordinary stories.

From Opinion: It’s in Republicans’ long-term interest to impeach Trump, Bret Stephens writes. Michelle Goldberg argues that while social media companies were right to bar Trump, they wield too much power.

Lives Lived: Television viewers met Pat Loud in 1973 as the loving, boisterous, witty, resilient and sometimes angry and hurt matriarch at the center of what is now considered the first reality TV show: “An American Family,” on PBS. She died at 94.

ARTS AND IDEAS

What Comey says now — and what he doesn’t

The reviews for James Comey’s new memoir, “Saving Justice,” are in, and they’re mixed. In The Times, the author Joe Klein calls it “a slight and repetitive book, but not an insignificant one.” The book is timely, with its central focus on “the national descent from strict, fact-based truth,” Klein writes.

Quinta Jurecic, in The Washington Post, says the book is “both an exploration of the values Trump has tried to pervert and an explanation of why those values matter.” The result, she writes, is “more of a user’s manual for the justice system” than a memoir.

Among the book’s biggest downsides: Comey’s lack of introspection about the Hillary Clinton email case in 2016. He refuses to acknowledge error or to engage with the strongest criticisms of his decision to publicize the investigation, against Justice Department policy. All he will admit to, as Klein writes, are “sins of honesty.”

PLAY, WATCH, EAT

What to Cook

This vegan Caesar salad mimics the real thing with a velvety dressing.

What to Watch

Marvel’s first series for Disney+, “WandaVision,” follows misfit heroes to weird places. It’s part drama, part sitcom homage.

In Conversation With

David Marchese interviewed the actress Cicely Tyson, who has widened the scope of American popular culture with her portrayals of complex, dignified Black women.

Late Night

The late-night hosts discussed Trump’s final days in office.

Now Time to Play

The pangram from yesterday’s Spelling Bee was fanciful. Today’s puzzle is above — or you can play online if you have a Games subscription.

Here’s today’s Mini Crossword, and a clue: Job with auditions (five letters).

Thanks for spending part of your morning with The Times. See you tomorrow. — David

P.S. Matt Thompson, the former editor in chief of the investigative website Reveal, is joining The Times to lead Headway, a new initiative covering big societal problems.

You can see today’s print front page here.

Today’s episode of “The Daily” is about what happens next with impeachment. On “Sway,” Anna Wintour addresses Vogue’s Kamala Harris cover controversy.

Claire Moses, Ian Prasad Philbrick, Tom Wright-Piersanti and Sanam Yar contributed to The Morning. You can reach the team at [email protected].

Sign up here to get this newsletter in your inbox.

Source: Read Full Article