Disgraced former crypto billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried donated large sums of money to GOP campaigns and affiliated PACs in the 2022 election cycle, public records show.
Bankman-Fried was the sixth-largest individual donor in the midterm elections, according to watchdog group Open Secrets. Public financial records show Bankman-Fried spent over $39 million in total, including over $36 million to Democrats in primaries and general elections. He previously made a comment in May indicating he could donate over a billion dollars in 2024 before walking back what he said a few months later, CNBC reported.
Midterms are in 8 days.
Here are the largest donors so far in the 2022 midterms:
– George Soros with over 120 mln
– Elizabeth and Richard Uihlein at over 80 mln
– Ken Griffin of Citadel with nearly 70 mln
– Sam Bankman with nearly 50 mln
– Michael Bloomberg +20 mln
— unusual_whales (@unusual_whales) October 31, 2022
Bankman-Fried’s donations to conservative groups included $105K to the Alabama Conservatives Fund, a Super PAC affiliated with GOP Sen.-Elect Katie Britt. The organization describes itself as being “dedicated to electing leaders who will put Alabama First” and says it is “not funded by Washington special interests.” Britt’s senate campaign ran on a similar theme of “putting Alabama first and delivering results for our state,” according to her official website, in an apparent nod to former President Trump’s “America First” campaign slogan.
A spokesman for the Britt campaign told the Daily Caller “we had no involvement with that PAC’s fundraising or spending activities. Looking at the FEC data, I do think it’s noteworthy that the funds you’re referencing represent only 2.5% of what that super PAC raised this cycle.” (RELATED: Disgraced Crypto CEO Took $1 Billion Loan From His Own Hedge Fund — That He Reportedly Bailed Out With Client Money)
“Katie will be an advocate for commonsense policies that provide robust consumer protections while fostering innovation, entrepreneurship, and investment here at home rather than driving the digital asset economy overseas to places like China,” the spokesman added.
Republican Arkansas Sen. John Boozman’s most recent reelection campaign received $5,800 from Bankman-Fried. An affiliated group, Heartland Resurgence, received $50,000 in funding from Bankman-Fried, public records show.
Boozman introduced the bipartisan “Digital Commodities Consumer Protection Act of 2022” to delegate crypto regulation to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), an agency tasked with overseeing markets for complex financial instruments. After the downfall of Bankman-Fried’s crypto fortune, Boozman said in a Nov. 10 press release “the events that have transpired this week reinforce the clear need for greater federal oversight of the digital asset industry.”
The Boozman campaign pledged to donate the funds donated by Sam Bankman-Fried to charity, a spokesman for the campaign told the Daily Caller.
An August report by the LA Times discussed Bankman-Fried’s efforts to influence bipartisan legislators to have the CFTC handle crypto regulation. He told the Times, “I am spending a lot of time talking with members about what constructive things would be on crypto policies and about what can be done to provide federal oversight of it. And so when I go to D.C., that is often what I’m doing,” explaining his activity in Washington before his crypto empire collapsed.
Additionally, Bankman-Fried donated sums of money to Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Richard Burr of North Carolina, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and John Hoeven of North Dakota, FEC disclosures show. Spokespeople from the Collins, Murkowski, Cassidy and Hoeven campaigns told the Daily Caller the money will be sent to charity.
A Spokesperson for the Burr campaign did not respond to the Caller’s request for comment.
House Republicans, led by Minnesota Rep. Tom Emmer, received $45,000 from Bankman-Fried, who gave the funds in two separate donations. The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) did not respond to the Daily Caller’s request for comment.
Emmer has reportedly come under fire for Republicans’ underwhelming midterm performances in competitive House elections. The party won a narrow majority after projections showed a much larger wave for the GOP. Nonetheless, Emmer was recently elected Republican Whip, the third highest-ranked position in the party’s House leadership. He staved off a challenge from Rep. Jim Banks of Indiana, who served as chair of the influential Republican Study Committee.
Apart from Republicans and conservative groups, Bankman-Fried donated $2 million to the pro-crypto GMI PAC, Fox Business reported. The PAC sent $2.8 million in funds to the right-leaning Crypto Innovation PAC, which supported Boozman and other Republicans, Open Secrets shows. It’s unclear whether any of Bankman-Fried’s funds were put towards Crypto Innovation PAC, according to Fox.