February 5, 2023

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FTX Founder Sam Bankman-Fred Was Also A Prolific Donor To Republicans: ‘I Have A Duty’

FTX Founder Sam Bankman-Fred Was Also A Prolific Donor To Republicans: 'I Have A Duty'

FTX founder Sam Bankman is uniquewhile a major Democratic campaign contributor, also gave a large sum of money to Republican candidates and organizations ahead of the midterm elections.

Bankman-Fried, whose cryptocurrency exchange FTX collapsed in recent weeks, channeled an estimated $262,200 to Republicans throughout the 2021-2022 election cycle, according to Federal Election Commission records. His contributions to Republicans pale in comparison Almost 40 million dollars contributed to it Democratic campaigns but still a significant amount, compared to most Americans.

“It’s my duty as a member of the industry to try to get us in order, to try to move the industry in a more responsible direction,” Bankman-Fried said in an interview with NBC News anchor Chuck Todd in September. “I think this requires engagement. I think it would be irresponsible for me not to engage on Capitol Hill, with the regulators.”

The crypto entrepreneur added that it is “likely true” that he has gained increased access to federal lawmakers as a result of his political fundraising activity.

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Sam Bankman Fried testified during a Senate Agriculture Committee hearing in February. He gave tens of millions of dollars to Democrats and hundreds of thousands of dollars to Republicans during the midterm elections. (Sarah Silbiger/Bloomberg via Getty Images/Getty Images)

Among his largest donations to Republican candidates and organizations was a $105,000 check to the Alabama Governors Fund, a $50,000 donation to the conservative group Heartland Resurgence and $45,000 to the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC).

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The Alabama Conservative Fund has been a major supporter of Sen.-elect Katie Brett of Alabama, has boosted Heartland Resurgence Sen. John Bozeman, R-Ark., and has run ads opposing his primary GOP rival, Jake Pickett. The NRCC is the main electoral fundraising arm of House Republicans.

Brett’s spokesperson, Sean Ross, told Fox News Digital: “The Brett campaign did not receive (nor accept) the funds…indicated.”

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Ross noted that political campaigns are prohibited from coordinating with super PACs.

“Katie will advocate for commonsense policies that deliver strong consumer protections while fostering innovation, entrepreneurship, and investment here at home rather than driving the digital asset economy offshore to places like China,” Ross said.

Additionally, Bankman-Fried has sent maximum individual donations to Boozman and incumbent Republican Senators Susan Collins of Maine, Richard Burr of North Carolina, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, John Hoeven of North Dakota, and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska throughout the election cycle.

Sen.-elect Katie Brett, R-Ala., was a recipient of Bankman-Fried donations.

Sen.-elect Katie Brett, R-Ala., was a recipient of Bankman-Fried donations to the Alabama Governors’ Fund. Britt said during her campaign that she supported American innovation “in the cryptocurrency space” and that the government should not put its thumbs up (Katie Brett for the Senate)

Bankman-Fried gave to Collins and Cassidy even though their next election is scheduled for 2026. Burr announced in 2016 that he would retire in 2023. The only other person to give Burr the maximum donation during the current cycle was Rob Granieri, a manager at Jane Street, Former employer of Pinkman Fried.

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Hoeven’s campaign told Fox News Digital that it donated the money it received from Bankman-Fried to the Salvation Army. A spokesperson for Cassidy said his campaign would award Bankman-Fried’s contribution to a Louisiana charity.

Outside of the hundreds of thousands of dollars he has spent on conservative PACs and Republican candidates, Bankman-Fried has donated $2 million to the GMI PAC, Pro-Crypto Political Action Committee. In return, the PAC sent $5.85 million to the left-leaning Web3Forward PAC and $2.8 million to the Crypto Innovation PAC.

It is unclear if Bankman-Fried’s donation to the GMI PAC made its way to the Crypto Innovation PAC, which has exclusively supported Republicans, including Boozman.

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However, the Crypto Innovation PAC gave about half of its spending to Michelle Bond of New York, who was defeated in the Republican primary despite endorsements from Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas. Donald Trump Jr. Bond’s partner is Ryan Salameh, an FTX executive.

FTX did not respond to a request for comment. NRCC and the campaigns for Boozman, Burr, Collins and Murkowski also did not respond to requests for comment.