Corporations, groups gave over $8 million to GOP election objectors after Jan. 6 riot, study says

Pro-Trump protesters storm into the U.S. Capitol during clashes with police, during a rally to contest the certification of the 2020 U.S. presidential election results by the U.S. Congress, in Washington, U.S, January 6, 2021.
Shannon Stapelton | REUTERS

Since the deadly Jan. 6 riot on Capitol Hill, Republican lawmakers who objected to the results of the 2020 presidential election received over $8 million in campaign donations from corporations and trade groups, according to a new study first shared with CNBC.

More than 140 Republicans in the House and Senate continued to object to the results of the election in which President Joe Biden defeated incumbent President Donald Trump, even after the pro-Trump attack on the Capitol. Trump, who was then the president, urged his supporters at a rally that day to march on Congress as lawmakers were in the process of confirming Biden’s electoral victory.

Data compiled by watchdog group Accountable.US shows a handful of corporations that chose to pause contributions or push back on what took place on Jan. 6 later moved ahead with financing the campaigns of GOP lawmakers who objected to the election results. A study by the Public Affairs Council published last month says more than 80% of corporate PACs did pause their contributions to federal candidates following Jan. 6.

The new report by Accountable.US shows that political action committees of top corporations and trade groups — including the American Bankers Association, Boeing, Raytheon Technologies, Lockheed Martin and General Motors — continued to give to the Republican election objectors.

“Major corporations were quick to condemn the insurrection and tout their support for democracy — and almost as quickly, many ditched those purported values by cutting big checks to the very politicians that helped instigate the failed coup attempt,” Accountable.US President Kyle Herrig said in a statement. “The increasing volume of corporate donations to lawmakers who tried to overthrow the will of the people makes clear that these companies were never committed to standing up for democracy in the first place.”

Boeing, Raytheon, Lockheed Martin and General Motors are among the corporations that said they would pause their campaign contributions to all federal candidates after the attack on the Capitol but later opted to resume their donations, including to lawmakers who objected to the results of the 2020 election.

After the riot, the American Bankers Association said that “we will meet with all of our stakeholders in the coming weeks to review our political activities from the last campaign cycle before making any decisions about future plans. The troubling events of the last week will certainly be a consideration in those discussions.” The ABA is responsible for lobbying on behalf of the U.S. banking industry.

The American Bankers Association has since contributed over $200,000 to Republican objectors, including to the campaigns of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California and House Minority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana.

Boeing, Raytheon, Lockheed Martin and General Motors have contributed over $650,000 to a batch of GOP election objectors since Jan. 6 after declaring their pause in contributions.

Of the over $8 million that came from trade groups and corporations to the election objectors, Accountable.US’ new research says about $1 million went to some of these Republican lawmakers in November.

Accountable.US’ campaign finance data from November shows that Marathon Petroleum, Valero Energy and United Parcel Service are among the corporations that have combined to donate over $100,000 to some of the Republicans who objected to 2020’s election results.

Corporate donations from the month of December will not be made public until later in January.

The trade group and corporations named in this story did not return CNBC’s requests for comment.

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