Ethics Watchdog Calls For Investigation Of Biden Officials’ Connections To Sam Bankman-Fried

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James Lynch Contributor
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Ethics watchdog Protect the Public’s Trust (PPT) is calling for an investigation of Biden officials’ connections to disgraced former billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried.

PPT is requesting probes from federal ethics officials into potential violations of the Presidential Records Act (PRA) and Federal Records Act (FRA) related to alleged destruction of official communications between the Biden administration and progressive activist Sean McElwee.

PPT is filing a complaint with the Justice Department, White House Counsel, Office of Government and Ethics and the National Archives and Records Administration about Biden officials’ participation in “backchannel” communications with McElwee.

Communications by White House employees are subject to records retention laws under the PRA and communications by federal employees in executive agencies are subject to similar laws under the FRA. The alleged destruction of official communications with McElwee could be a violation of the PRA and FRA, according to PPT.

McElwee allegedly had a slack channel with prominent reporters and Biden officials during his time at Data For Progress, a progressive polling firm he founded, according to Politico. McElwee shut down the slack channel a day after FTX, Bankman-Fried’s crypto exchange, filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy, Politico reported.

McElwee was fired by Data For Progress for his close relationship to Bankman-Fried and gambling on midterm election results, according to New York Magazine.

FTX filed for bankruptcy in the wake of allegations customer funds were misused by executives at FTX and Alameda Research, the exchange’s sister hedge fund. (RELATED: REPORT: Sam Bankman-Fried Had At Least Four Meetings With White House Officials)

“This incident is indicative of the Biden Administration’s performance in the areas of ethics and transparency falling far short of their promises. The reported ability of Sam Bankman-Fried and FTX leadership, several of whom are currently under federal indictments, to leverage political donations to obtain ‘backchannel’ communications with federal officials in charge of overseeing them seems to be the epitome of pay-to-play,” PPT Director Michael Chamberlain told the Daily Caller.

“Officials at the White House and the federal agencies who participated in this should certainly have known better. The fact that they joined this platform with an agent of a company whose executives are accused of billions in fraud just made a bad situation worse and feeds the public’s growing mistrust of government,” Chamberlain added.

Bankman-Fried was indicted by federal prosecutors Dec. 13 on eight counts of fraud and conspiracy for allegedly misusing customer funds at FTX and Alameda. He pleaded not guilty to the charges Tuesday and will be confined to his parents house until Oct.3, the date of his trial.