by Pam Martens and Russ Martens, Wall St On Parade:
The rationale for Donald Trump’s selection of Jay Clayton, a law partner at Sullivan & Cromwell which has represented Goldman Sachs since the late 1800s, to be the next SEC Chairman grew exponentially fuzzier after Wall Street On Parade reviewed political donation records at the Federal Election Commission. FEC records show that 59 of Clayton’s fellow lawyers at the firm made over $900,000 in donations to the Hillary Victory Fund while one lone lawyer, Donald Korb, made two $2700 donations to Trump’s primary and general election campaign. Donations from three other lawyers at the firm, Justin Decamp ($2700), Robert Giuffra ($25,000), and Diane McGimsey ($5,000) to the Trump Victory committee came after Trump was already elected President, according to images of receipts filed with the FEC.
In addition to the more than $900,000 that went to the Hillary Victory Fund, tens of thousands of dollars more were donated by Sullivan & Cromwell lawyers to Hillary Clinton’s main campaign committee, Hillary for America.
Donors to the Hillary Victory Fund included Sullivan & Cromwell Senior Chairman, H. Rodgin (Rodge) Cohen, who donated $250,000 on May 12, 2016 and another $35,000 the following month. During the Wall Street panic and crash in 2008 and 2009, Cohen darted from representation of one failing institution to another. The Wall Street Journal dryly noted in the midst of the crisis that Cohen was “in demand because he helped mold the financial system that is now under assault. He helped draft the rules that led to the emergence of powerful national banks, waged the first hostile bank takeover in the U.S. and lobbied, in the early 1990s, to expand the Federal Reserve’s power to provide the emergency loans now being employed by the government.”
When the Senior Chairman of a powerful law firm gives over a quarter of a million dollars to boost a presidential candidate’s chances, it tends to send a message to his fellow lawyers in the firm. Other Sullivan & Cromwell lawyers giving generously to the Hillary Victory Fund included: Scott D. Miller ($50,000); Frank Aquila ($33,400); Alexandra Korry ($33,400); Alison Ressler ($33,400); Sharon Nelles ($25,000); Yvonne Quinn ($25,000); George White ($25,000); David Hariton ($20,000); Richard Pepperman ($20,000); Karen Seymour ($16,700); and Sam Seymour ($16,700). Another 21 lawyers at the firm gave $10,000 each while 11 lawyers gave $5,000 or more to the Hillary Victory Fund.
Why would President-elect Donald Trump discredit himself further by nominating a Goldman Sachs outside counsel to run the already discredited SEC when the law firm’s partners were funneling serious money into his opponent’s campaign to make sure he didn’t win. Trump has already earned the wrath of the public by stocking his administration with Goldman Sachs alumni. Steven Mnuchin, a 17-year veteran of Goldman Sachs and operator of a foreclosure mill bank has been nominated by Trump to be Treasury Secretary; Stephen Bannon, another former Goldman Sachs banker, will be Trump’s Chief Strategist in the White House; and Gary Cohn, sitting President of Goldman Sachs, has been tapped to head the National Economic Council.
In response to the so-called “populist” president placing the vampire squid and its tentacles securely around anything that smells like money in the U.S. government, protesters from New York Communities for Change stormed the lobby of Goldman Sachs’ headquarters in Manhattan yesterday and unfurled a banner reading “Government Sachs.”