21:24 GMT26 November 2020
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    Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s ties to Goldman Sachs have been raising eyebrows throughout the election season, and the issue has resurfaced as the financial behemoth has now banned its partners from donating to Republican nominee Donald Trump’s campaign, while allowing contributions to the former US Secretary of State’s.

    The issue of Clinton’s relationship with the investment giant has been under scrutiny ever since the US presidential primaries, after Senator Bernie Sanders demanded the release of the texts of her $250,000 speeches to the corporation, which she refused to make public.

    Now, in a memo to partners, Goldman Sachs has enacted a policy effective September 1, barring top employees from donating to Trump. The firm claims that the policy is to prevent any suspicion of pay-to-play, an issue raised during Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State.

    “The policy change is meant to prevent inadvertently violating pay-to-play rules, particularly the look-back provision, when partners transition into roles covered by these rules. The penalties for failing to comply with these rules can be severe and include fines and a ban on the firm from doing business with government clients in a particular jurisdiction for a period of at least two years,” the memo states.

    Under the new rules, partners cannot donate to politicians running for state or local offices, or to state officials who are seeking federal office, which means donating to Republican vice-presidential nominee Mike Pence, the governor of Indiana, is also out. In the memo, Goldman-Sachs expressly uses the Trump ticket as an example of which contributions are banned.

    “Any federal candidate who is a sitting state or local official (e.g., governor running for president or vice president, such as the Trump/Pence ticket, or mayor running for Congress), including their Political Action Committees (PACs),” the memo reads.

    Meanwhile, Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) does not qualify as a local official, according to the firm, though contributions to the Virginia Democratic Party are banned.

    There are 467 partners banned from donating to the campaign. That may seem like a small number, but they tend to be some of the wealthiest people in the finance sector, and, were they disposed to favor Trump, it could mean a huge loss in funding for the Republican ticket.


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