List of Democrats, Republicans Staying Silent On FTX Donations Grows

Bankman-Fried and two of his former right-hand men at FTX gave a collective $71 million to Democratic and Republican candidates


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In the slow burn leading up to FTX’s swift collapse — which conveniently coincided with the 2022 midterm election cycle — founder Sam Bankman-Fried and a slew of executives broke out their checkbooks, doling out bipartisan dollars to Capitol Hill hopefuls.

Bankman-Fried has become entangled in a range of political donations. He personally gave $40 million to various Political Action Committees (PACs) and individual candidates, according to data from the Federal Election Commission (FEC). Most supported Democratic causes, but he also donated to Republicans, both personally and via donations from his companies. 

Other FTX-affiliated donors include Ryan Salame, Bankman-Fried’s former co-CEO, and Nishad Singh, former director of engineering at FTX. Salame gave nearly $23 million almost exclusively to Republicans and related PACs, while Singh coughed up $8 million. 

Bankman-Fried donated under at least three separate entities: Alameda Research, FTX US (the Bahamas-based company’s American subsidiary) and FTX. The FEC collects and publishes self-reported data on donors’ employers. 

FTX US donated a collective $500,947.30 between December 2021 and September 2022, according to FEC records — the majority to GMI PAC, a crypto-focused group which primarily supported the Crypto Innovation PAC during the 2022 midterms.

Crypto Innovation PAC backed Republicans Michelle Bond — who lost the New York Republican primary for the House of Representatives in 2022 — and Rep. Markwayne Mullin of Oklahoma. The group also donated to Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., Sen. Ted Budd, R-N.C., and Sen. John Boozman, R-Ark., all of whom have been vocal crypto supporters. 

The offices of Rep. McHenry and Sens. Budd and Boozman did not respond to requests for comment. 

In 2020, Alameda Research gave $5.2 million to Future Forward PAC, a Democratic-leaning organization that had been primarily focused on electing President Biden in 2020, according to the FEC. Future Forward is still accepting donations for other liberal candidates. 

Some candidates have come forward and said they will donate funds linked to Bankman-Fried, including Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and Rep. Jesús “Chuy” García, D-Ill. Both received $2,900. 

Former Texas gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke “returned” a $1 million donation from Bankman-Fried four days before election day, his campaign told The Texas Tribune. The refund was unrelated to any potential fraud from FTX or Bankman-Fried, his campaign added. 

Blockworks contacted the offices of the following legislators who received funds linked to Bankman-Fried and FTX: Tom Emmer, R-Ind., Josh Gottheimer, D-N.J., Jake Auchincloss, D-N.J., Ritchie Torres, D-N.Y., John Boozman, R-Ark., Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and Sens. Lisa Murkowski, R-Ark., Mitt Romney, R-Utah, Susan Collins, R-Maine, John Thune, R-S.D., Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

None responded.

Updated Nov. 29, 2022 at 4:35 pm ET: Ritchie Torres’ office responded after publishing. Torres donated his contribution from Bankman-Fried to “a local charity to assist with holiday food distribution to families in need,” according to Rep. Torres’ team.

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