Former CEO of FTX charged with defrauding investors in 'one of the biggest financial frauds in American history'
As more becomes known about the massive criminal fraud allegedly orchestrated by FTX founder and former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried, the extent to which Democratic Party candidates have benefited from his substantial financial largesse is something Republican lawmakers are vowing to probe, as the Daily Signal, a conservative publication with close ties to Republicans, reports.
According to Fox Business, Bankman-Fried gave approximately $40 million to political campaigns during the 2022 midterm election cycle, with the lion's share of that staggering amount going to Democrats and given the timing of his company's recent bankruptcy filings, and extraordinarily swift collapse, many in the GOP believe that comprehensive investigations are in order. Bankman-Fried also gave contributions to Republicans, CNBC reports.
Democratic mega-donor charged
Arrested in the Bahamas on Monday, Bankman-Fried now stands accused by federal prosecutors of behind the mastermind of “one of the biggest financial frauds in American history,” as Axios noted, causing investor losses in the billions of dollars while simultaneously amassing great personal wealth.
As such, Bankman-Fried was indicted on a series of eight criminal counts, including allegations of funneling unlawful campaign contributions to political candidates, and while prosecutors suggested that the accused fraudster gave to both Republicans and Democrats, it was the latter group that took a disproportionate share of his funding.
The Federalist notes that Bankman-Fried was, in fact, the second-largest independent contributor to the Democratic Party and affiliated issue groups during the midterm cycle, coming in only behind progressive billionaire philanthropist George Soros.
At just 30 years of age, Bankman-Fried reportedly delivered over $36 million to Democrats for 2022 campaigns, doing so after having also shoveled massive amounts into then-candidate Joe Biden's 2020 presidential coffers.
Considering the shocking scope of the fraud allegations against Bankman-Fried, many of the top Democratic Party beneficiaries of his contributions over the past several years would perhaps be expected to quickly distance themselves from the controversy by returning those donations forthwith.
However, such a presumption may be unwarranted, as a number of prominent Democrat recipients of Bankman-Fried funds have declined thus far to comment on their plans, as Fox Business further noted.
Having received a combined total of $7 million from Bankman-Fried during the last election cycle, neither the House Majority PAC nor the Senate Majority PAC would announce whether any of the monies would be returned.
White House stays mum
In a similar vein, as the New York Post reported, no commitment one way or the other regarding the return of campaign donations to then-candidate Biden was forthcoming from White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre when she was questioned on the topic earlier this week.
Zeke Miller of the Associated Press addressed Jean-Pierre during a press briefing, saying, “The president received campaign donations [from Bankman-Fried]. Will the president return that donation? Does he call on all politicians...to return those funds?”
Jean-Pierre replied, “So look, I'm covered here by the Hatch Act – [I'm] limited on what I can say and anything that's connected to political contributions from here, I would have to refer you to the DNC,” referencing a federal law prohibiting advocacy on behalf of political candidates by certain government officials.
Miller was not ready to relent, however, saying, “I'm asking the president's opinion, though.”
Jean-Pierre held firm in maintaining silence on the issue, however, stating, “I just cannot speak to this from here, even his thoughts. Even his opinion, even his thoughts about the contributions, donations, I cannot speak about that from here.”
Republicans pledge probe
A growing number of Republican lawmakers are vowing to examine the depth of his involvement in the left's political endeavors.
Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-GA), a member of the House Financial Services Committee, indicated last month that the panel will indeed explore those links, saying, according to the Daily Signal, “While there is still much to be learned and investigated, it appears FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried and his family had no shortage of influence within the Democrat Party.”
Loudermilk added that said clout “could amount to conflicts of interest, especially if individuals within the Democrat Party accepted money with knowledge of potential criminal activity occurring at FTX.”
“These are the kinds of questions the House Financial Services Committee and a Republican majority must thoroughly investigate,” Loudermilk said, and precisely what types of troubling facts such a probe may ultimately reveal, only time will tell.