Donations to GOP leaders were not disclosed because reporters freak out if you donate to Republicans, says Bankman-Fried


Sam Bankman-Fried says that the donations he made to Republican leaders were not disclosed due to the fact that journalists always freak the hell out when people donate to GOP leaders.
FTX's Sam Bankman-Fried.Photo byFII Institute / Flickr

FTX's Sam Bankman-Fried claims that the donations he made to Republican leaders were not made public because journalists always get extremely worked-up whenever anyone donates to Republican leaders. As a result, the donations were not made public.

The downfall of crypto billionaire Bankman-Fried has been portrayed as a significant blow to the Democratic party, whose candidates were major beneficiaries of his donations.

However, in a recent interview, Bankman-Fried claimed that he had also donated significant sums of money to Republican organizations.

When referring to political donations that are not publicly disclosed, Bankman-Fried said to reporter Tiffany Fong:

I donated to both parties. I donated about the same amount to both parties. All my Republican donations were dark. The reason was not for regulatory reasons, it's because reporters freak the fuck out if you donate to Republicans. They're all super liberal, and I didn't want to have that fight."

The Supreme Court's decision in 2010 regarding the Citizens United case made it easier for donors, including Bankman-Fried, to give large amounts of money anonymously.

This is then led to more than $1 billion being poured into federal elections for various political leaders since 2010, a report from The Guardian has alluded.

According to the publicly available data, certain aspects of Bankman-Fried's empire contributed equally to both parties. Information obtained from OpenSecrets says the company gave both parties an equal amount of money.

It may appear that only about $235,000 of Bankman-Friend's public political donation went toward supporting candidates affiliated with the Republican Party.

In spite of his efforts to conceal his contributions to the Republican Party, Bankman-Fried can be linked to the origin of a few significant financial gifts made to the party:

  • One of these was the Crypto Innovation PAC, which contributed almost $3.2 million to nine different Republican candidates and organizations.
  • The majority of the PAC's funding, approximately $2.8 million, originated from GMI PAC, the top donors of which include Bankman-Fried, Salame, Marc Andreessen, Ben Horowitz, and Circle, a company that deals in digital currency.
  • Additionally, FTX donated approximately $300,000 worth of company funds to GMI PAC. This donation appears to have been made in the form of donating stablecoin to the campaign, which was then sold via FTX by the campaign.
  • As it turns out, GMI contributed $4.75 million to Web3 Forward, a political action committee (PAC) that backs Democratic candidates.

All of this led to a campaign finance watchdog accusing Bankman-Fried of violating federal election law by using "dark money" groups to conceal campaign donations to Republicans during the 2022 primary campaign.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) cited an interview that took place in November between Bankman-Fried and YouTuber Tiffany Fong. In the interview, Bankman-Fried claimed to be "the second or third biggest Republican donor this year".

It appears that Bankman-Fried hid these donations by contributing to "dark money" groups, which are organizations that are not required by federal law to disclose the names of their donors and have the ability to spend an unlimited amount of money to influence elections.

However, according to the law, those organizations are required to keep up the appearance that they are operating independently from any political candidates.

By admitting that he was relying on dark money groups as merely a pass-through, CREW argued that Bankman-Fried was relinquishing any plausible deniability that he was directly donating millions of dollars to support the candidates of his choosing.

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