Sam Bankman-Fried previously told cryptocurrency vlogger Tiffany Fong that all of his Republican contributions were “dark.”
A watchdog group has demanded an investigation into Sam Bankman-political Fried’s donations, claiming the former FTX CEO admitted to illegally donating tens of millions of dollars to Republicans.
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed the complaint on December 8 with the Federal Election Commission (FEC), citing comments made by Bankman-Fried in a Nov. 16 interview with cryptocurrency vlogger Tiffany Fong, which was released on YouTube on Nov. 29.
CREW claimed in its complaint that wealthy donors frequently use the Citizen United decision to avoid federal disclosure laws by using intermediaries and claiming they were unaware of where the funds ended up, but Bankman-admission Fried negates this plausible deniability. Donald Sherman, senior vice president and chief counsel at CREW, observes:
“Bankman-Fried said out loud in the quiet part. He admitted that he violated federal laws intended to provide Americans with transparency into funding elections and must now be held accountable.”
CREW has requested that the FEC investigate the violation and take any appropriate further action, such as referring the matter to the Department of Justice for criminal prosecution.
The group accused Bankman-Fried of “direct and serious violations of the Federal Election Campaign Act,” which requires political donations of more than $200 per year to be disclosed.
Bankman-Fried claimed in the Nov. 16 interview with Fong that he “donated about the same to both parties.” Given that he was the Democrats’ second largest donor, according to OpenSecrets, these “dark” donations appear to be substantial.
“All of my Republican contributions were dark,” SBF observed before adding:
“It wasn’t for regulatory reasons; it was because reporters freak out if you donate to Republicans, and they’re all super liberal, and I didn’t want to get into that fight.”
Bankman-Fried has been on a public apology tour since his fall from grace, appearing in interviews with The New York Times’ DealBook Summit, Good Morning America, and numerous Twitter spaces.
He has repeatedly claimed that he is conducting these interviews against the advice of his lawyers, who have advised him to keep quiet and not say anything for fear of getting into trouble.