Since Hillary Clinton’s unexpected loss to Donald Trump, her donors have strategized with Democratic leadership about how to revive the failing party. Billionaire George Soros held a closed door conference with wealthy donors in November 2016 that addressed how to “take back power” and was attended by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
On the weekend of Trump’s inauguration, David Brock hosted a retreat for the most prolific Democratic donors to figure out how to “kick Donald Trump’s ass.” On July 15, Page Six reported that Sen. Kamala Harris, a potential 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, met with top Clinton donors in the Hamptons. Many figures in Clinton’s inner circle attended, including Clinton’s 2008 Campaign National Finance co-Chair Michael Kempner, donors Dennis Mehiel and Steven Gambrel, and Democratic National Committeeman Robert Zimmerman. Harris also attended a separate luncheon hosted by one of Clinton’s top lobbyist bundlers, Liz Robbins.
Harris’ meetings with Clinton’s donors signal that they are rallying behind her as the 2020 Democratic presidential nominee. Harris has emerged as a leading figure in the Trump Resistance; Politico reported that the hearings regarding Trump’s connections to Russia have enabled the Democratic Party to frame her as Trump’s most aggressive critic.
In response to one of the hearings she was involved in, she launched the slogan “courage not courtesy.” However, despite this catchy slogan, Harris has historically lacked the courage to hold her donors accountable when they have broken the law.
The nomination of Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin provoked criticisms over his tenure as CEO of OneWest Bank. In 2013, California prosecutors claimed to have discovered over 1,000 foreclosure law violations, but the California Attorney General’s office failed to file any action against the bank. At the time, Kamala Harris was California’s attorney general. Many questioned why Harris didn’t take any action given the evidence her office uncovered.