Today U.S. Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) sent a letter to JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon calling for answers after the bank canceled their contract with Defense of Liberty, a Missouri-based organization, forcing the group to scrap a long-planned event at the last minute.

WePay, which is owned by JPMorgan, was hired as a payment processor for the event but, upon learning that Donald Trump Jr. had been scheduled to speak, pulled their contract and claimed the event may be “illegal.” After the decision attracted media attention, the bank relented and claimed they had mistakenly canceled the contract.

“If your goal was to use the power of your company to stealth-cancel a conservative event, then you succeeded—to the detriment of the people of Missouri,” Senator Hawley wrote. “Frankly, your belated claim of an unspecified ‘mistake’ rings hollow, and requires explanation. As a bank that has taken billions of dollars in taxpayer bailouts, you owe the public, to say nothing of your customers, an honest explanation as to why you canceled a contract on a transparently pretextual basis that you now admit was wrong. And you owe the public an explanation as to why you decided to target a conservative group on the basis of their speech.”

Read his full letter here or below.
 
November 18, 2021 
  
Jamie Dimon 
CEO, JPMorgan Chase 
270 Park Ave 
New York, NY 10017 
  
Dear Mr. Dimon:

I write to inquire about your decision to cancel, at the last minute, a contract with the conservative organization Defense of Liberty in Missouri. That cancellation has forced the organization to cancel an event it planned to hold in early December.

According to press reports, the organization hired you to process payments for the event. But after the organization scheduled Donald Trump, Jr., as its speaker for the December event, you unilaterally cancelled the contract. You said the contract was void because the event was supposedly “illegal” and “More specifically: Per our terms of service, we are unable to process for hate, violence, racial intolerance, terrorism….” Then you ignored requests by Defense of Liberty to discuss the issue. Only after your decision drew media attention did you engage in “further review”—your words—and declare that you had made a mistake.

Too little too late for the Missouri organization. If your goal was to use the power of your company to stealth-cancel a conservative event, then you succeeded—to the detriment of the people of Missouri.

Frankly, your belated claim of an unspecified “mistake” rings hollow, and requires explanation. As a bank that has taken billions of dollars in taxpayer bailouts, you owe the public, to say nothing of your customers, an honest explanation as to why you canceled a contract on a transparently pretextual basis that you now admit was wrong. And you owe the public an explanation as to why you decided to target a conservative group on the basis of their speech.

Kindly respond to my office with a full accounting of your processes, including why those processes broke down, what about this conservative group was mistaken for “hate, violence, racial intolerance, terrorism…,” and how you plan to make the organization whole for your decision to break your contract.

Sincerely,                                    
Josh Hawley
United States Senator

Issues