Riot fallout leads 1 law firm to dump Trump businesses, others to suspend PAC contributions
President Donald Trump in August 2019. Photo by Aaron Schwartz/Shutterstock.com.
Law firms are responding to the Jan. 6 riot on the U.S. Capitol with pledges to pause or review contributions by their political action committees and, in one case, a decision to dump Trump businesses as clients.
Seyfarth Shaw decided to drop the Trump businesses in an executive committee meeting Wednesday, Bloomberg Law reports. A law firm spokesperson said Seyfarth Shaw is working with the Trump companies to secure new counsel and ensure a smooth transition.
Seyfarth Shaw had represented Trump companies in litigation involving Trump property and a personal driver for Trump officials, according to Bloomberg Law.
Many more law firms responded to the Capitol riot with decisions to suspend contributions by their PACs or to review their giving.
Squire Patton Boggs, which gave about 65% of its federal PAC dollars to Republicans in the 2019-2020 election cycle, was first to announce a suspension, report Law.com, Law360, Thomson Reuters Legal and Bloomberg Law.
“Squire Patton Boggs believes that there is no room for violence in our society, including in the context of political protests, and that a peaceful transition of power is fundamental to our democratic system of government,” the law firm said in a statement.
Thomson Reuters Legal said these firms are also pausing donations: Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner; Baker & Hostetler; Hogan Lovells; Holland & Knight; Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney; Cozen O’Connor; and Polsinelli.
These law firms said they would review their giving but did not announce a pause: Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld; Kelley Drye & Warren; and Covington & Burling.
PAC spending is commonplace in the legal industry, according to Law360. Lawyers and law firms donated more than $11 million through PACs in the 2019-2020 election cycle, according to the Open Secrets database maintained by the Center for Responsive Politics.
More than a dozen law firm PACs donated to members of Congress who voted against certifying the election results, according to Thomson Reuters Legal.
Eighteen law firms, meanwhile, responded to the attacks in a letter asking Vice President Mike Pence to use the 25th Amendment to remove President Donald Trump from office. Crowell & Moring organized the effort.
Am Law 200 firms that signed the letter included DLA Piper; Foley Hoag; Sullivan & Worcester; and Hanson Bridgett.
The letter said the mob raid on the Capitol “was the direct and predictable result of a rally summoned by the president, at which he reinforced false claims of a rigged election.”