- CEOs are overwhelming in favor of impeaching President Donald Trump, according to Chief Executive Leadership Institute data shared with Insider.
- In a survey, every CEO who responded said Trump helped incite last week’s violent attack on Congress.
- Most think there’ll be further violence on inauguration day, and even this weekend.
- Business leaders are “the most trusted pillar” right now, the institute’s founder said.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
President Donald Trump should be impeached after inciting last week’s deadly Capitol insurrection, the country’s top chief executives say.
In a survey of roughly 40 CEOs of major US companies, 96% said Trump should be impeached and removed from office, Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, the founder of Yale’s Chief Executive Leadership Institute, told Insider.
“We’re at a point where an attack on our system requires our system to respond,” one of the CEOs, who spokes anonymously, told Sonnenfeld. “Impeachment is an imperative.”
Every respondent to the institute’s survey answered “yes” to the questions “is Donald Trump unfit to be President?” and “did President Trump help incite last week’s violent attack on Congress?”
The CEOs, who represent a range of industries including tech, pharmaceuticals, retail, and transport, had contacted Sonnenfeld to arrange the meeting, he said. They attended the meeting on condition of confidentiality.
At the meeting, held Wednesday morning, the CEOs discussed growing political tension in the US and how companies should respond. Former senior government officials, advisors, and academics were also present at the meeting.
After Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol last week in a desperate bid to overturn the presidential election results, which turned into a violent insurrection leaving five people dead, some businesses have been quick to cut off ties with Trump and his supports. Some have cut off political funding to the 147 GOP lawmakers who voted against certifying Joe Biden as president, while others have temporarily pulled the plug on all political donations.
“A lot of us are hesitant to wade into political waters. We don’t want to bring politics into the boardroom or to our employees,” one of the CEOs said at Wednesday’s CELI meeting.
“But we need to recognize that threats to the rule of law are legitimate business issues,” they continued.”It’s totally legitimate and therefore also very important that we speak out on these issues.”
Their overwhelming support for Trump’s impeachment showed a dramatic shift in attitude from a similar meeting held by Sonnenfeld the day before the siege, when only 7% of those present said they thought he should be impeached.
The CEOs’ biggest concern was public safety, Sonnenfeld told Insider. Four in five respondents to the survey said they thought Washington would be under attack from domestic terrorist on inauguration day, and even more – 93% – said they think public safety is at risk in all states this weekend.
At the meeting, the CEOs discussed a range of measures companies can introduce in response to the riots.
The CEOs were overwhelmingly in favor of using their political funding to show their stance, Sonnenfeld told Insider. Every respondent to they survey said that business PACs and trade associations should cut off donations to the legislators who voted against Biden’s certification.
This was something more than two dozen CEOs were mulling even before Wednesday’s violent siege. And without the attack, most CEOs would have still gone ahead with pulling this funding, Sonnenfeld told Insider – but the siege meant that Trump’s reputation suddenly plummeted from being “tainted” to being “destroyed,” he said.
But the blanket approach of temporarily cutting off all political funding, which has been…