Goldman Sachs Group Inc., one of largest investment banks in the U.S., has banned its high-ranking employees from contributing money to certain campaigns, including Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, according to a Politico report.
“Effective Thursday, September 1, all partners across the firm are considered 'restricted persons' as defined by the firm's Policy on Personal Political Activities in the US. As outlined below, restricted persons are prohibited from engaging in political activities and/or making campaign contributions to candidates running for state and local offices, as well as sitting state and local officials running for federal office,” the bank wrote to its employees.
"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 policy change is also meant to minimize potential reputational damage caused by any false perception that the firm is attempting to circumvent pay-to-play rules, particularly given partners' seniority and visibility. All failures to pre-clear political activities as outlined below are taken seriously and violations may result in disciplinary action.”
But how does that affect Trump?
Fortune obtained a copy of the memo with Goldman Sachs specifically mentioning the Trump campaign. The types of banned donations include “...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).”
Both Trump and Clinton do not currently hold a position in a political office, but their running mates do. What may be confusing is why Mike Pence, who is the current governor of Indiana, is not exempt while Tim Kaine, the current senator of Virginia, is exempt.
According to Fortune: "...the memo does say that Goldman partners are no longer able to donate to the Virginia Democratic party, which could be a reference to Kaine." Pence has influence over state pensions, while Kaine is not a state or local official.
According to opensecrets.com, Goldman Sachs has contributions in 2016 that total $4.51 million, with $2.44 million of it going to candidates. The top recipient was the Republican National Committee, which received $371,245. Clinton received $201,119, which trailed behind former Republican presidential candidate and current Florida senate candidate Marco Rubio by just under $10,000.
In 2012, Goldman Sachs contributed $1.2 million to the Republican National Committee and $1.05 million to then-Republican nominee Mitt Romney. President Barack Obama, then the incumbent candidate, received $210,020 from Goldman Sachs.
In the 2016 campaign, Clinton has raised far more in contributions than Trump.