Move over, Greta Thunberg; there's a new fraudster in town.
One of the country's largest and most celebrated cryptocurrency exchanges collapsed this week. FTX, which handled billions of dollars worth of cryptocurrency on its exchange platform, went down in flames after a pyramid scheme imploded. The misuse of funds is a scandal, maybe even criminal, and the political implications of the fraud are massive.
The money from the firm wasn't just used by its founder to purchase rides on private jets, fancy vacations, or luxury living spaces. It was used to bankroll Democrats in the 2020 and 2022 elections.
According to public records, FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried was the second largest donor to Democrats this cycle, only behind billionaire George Soros. Checks totaled $38 million in the midterm elections, and Bankman-Fried had plans to spend $1 billion in the 2024 presidential election.
Deemed a crypto whizkid (after stating he actually knew nothing about crypto), Bankman-Fried held court at global conferences with former President Bill Clinton, was a regular on Capitol Hill and graced the cover of Forbes Magazine as one of the world's richest men before turning 30. This wasn't surprising, given politics is a family affair.
"The family of Sam Bankman-Fried, the beleaguered founder of the now-bankrupt crypto exchange FTX, has significant ties to the Democratic establishment in Washington, D.C.," Fox News reports. "The FTX CEO's family — consisting of his parents, Joseph Bankman and Barbara Fried, and brother Gabe Bankman-Fried — has contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to Democratic candidates and actively worked with left-wing organizations committed to supporting Democrats. The four appear to have had subtle influence on the Democratic establishment for the better part of a decade."
Conveniently for the left, the collapse happened just days after the 2022 midterm elections — past the time when the information could have been important to voters, especially the details of Bankman-Fried's attempts to essentially bribe politicians with donations in exchange for friendly or no regulation of his company.
Now, the very same people who propped Bankman-Fried up in Congress are claiming they plan to investigate his mishandling of the firm.
House Financial Services Chairwoman Maxine Waters, who has her own history of banking corruption, welcomed Bankman-Fried into her office last year. Upon his departure, she literally blew him a kiss. She claims hearings will be held next month, before Republicans take control of the House in January, to get to the bottom of what happened.
So, what did happen? Did a Democrat-controlled Congress turn the other way on regulation because they were benefitting from Bankman-Fried as his preferred political party? Especially ahead of an election year? What exactly was FTX? And how nefarious was its work? That's a question Citadel CEO Ken Griffin is asking.
"On the balance sheet of FTX is a line called 'Trump lose,' and Sam was the second biggest donor to Democratic candidates," Griffin said during a recent Bloomberg conference. "Those are really, really ugly facts when you see fraud of this magnitude having played out. And you find no regulators were there to prevent it. That's a really, really tough story."
In other words, FTX used client investments to fraudulently bankroll Democratic campaigns.
If a group of crypto traders had spent tens of millions of dollars in investor funds in order to get dozens of Republicans elected, only to later collapse into the abyss while the founder fled to the Bahamas, it would be the top story on every news outlet for months. Elections would be called fraudulent, and politicians who received the money would be declared illegitimate.
Instead, Democrats and their allies in the media continue to focus on investigating free speech proponent Elon Musk, who threatens their power with his takeover of Twitter. The crypto collapse is simply being told as a story of bad risk-taking, not political bribery, a dark money threat, or theft.