Big law firms have already resumed donations to the same GOP lawmakers they vowed to distance from after Jan 6: report

Big law firms have already resumed donations to the same GOP lawmakers they vowed to distance from after Jan 6: report
Teargas outside the U.S. Capitol Building on January 6, 2021, Tyler Merbler

Shortly after the deadly insurrection on the U.S. Capitol, some of the United States' biggest law firms and corporations vowed to stop donating to Republican lawmakers who supported Trump's "Big Lie" about the presidential election; a dangerous claim that subsequently led to a mob of angry Trump supporters storming the federal building.

Now, according to Rolling Stone, new reports suggest that commitment did not last a year because some of the law firms have already begun donating to those same Republicans who supported again.

A detailed review of campaign finance records was reportedly conducted by Rolling Stone and government watchdog groups Protect Democracy and Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW). The shift began with large corporations and now some of the country's largest law firms are also following suit.

According to records, law firms including Hogan Lovells, McGuireWoods, Holland and Knight, and Cozen O’Connor donated thousands of dollars to Republican party committees after distancing from the political party following the Capitol riots.

The review indicates that "more than two-dozen major law firms have donated nearly $500,000 to members of the so-called Sedition Caucus, referring to the 147 Republican officeholders who voted to overturn Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory, or to party committees that take large donations and spend those funds solely to reelect Republican politicians."

Campaign finance experts have weighed in on the donations explaining how they are "a reflection of a broken and money-rotted political system, in which companies and law firms with business before the government use campaign donations to buy access to policymakers."

Robert Maguire, CREW's research director, also offered his perspective on the law firms' donations.

“Law firms, especially these big high-powered firms in and around D.C., play a critical role in the fundraising system here,” Maguire said. “It seems from the outside that these firms feel like they can’t stop giving, in the same way some of the companies themselves feel like they can’t stop giving, because it’s what gives them a seat at the table. And if you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu.”

In a statement to Rolling Stone, Ivan Zapien, head of government relations and public affairs for Hogan Lovells, addressed the claims and the law firm's decision to resume with donations.

“While we paused PAC donations earlier this year, as a bi-partisan firm, we have resumed PAC donations to party committees on both sides of the aisle to represent the collective needs of our clients,” Zapien said in his statement.

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