Maxine Waters’ warm tweet to Bankman-Fried ahead of upcoming hearing draws real questions

Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder and former CEO of now-bankrupt crypto exchange FTX, has allegedly cost investors billions of dollars despite claims he did not knowingly commingle FTX funds with funds at his proprietary trading firm, Alameda Research, which was run by his ex-girlfriend.

During an appearance Wednesday at The New York Times’ Dealbook Summit, Bankman-Fried said he “didn’t ever try to commit fraud,” while at the same time admitting that he did not manage risk as the head of FTX. What he did do was steer a whole lot of money to Democratic politicians and causes. In citing Open Secrets, Axios reported Bankman-Fried “spent around $37 million during the last election cycle, almost all of which went to boosting Democratic candidates and causes.” That would make him the party’s second-largest donor.

(In an interview with YouTuber Tiffany Fong, Bankman-Fried claimed he donated just as much to Republicans but that it was “dark” money, saying: “The reason was not for regulatory reasons, it’s because reporters freak the f*ck out if you donate to Republicans. They’re all super liberal, and I didn’t want to have that fight.”)

Speaking of Democrats, U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., the chair of the House Financial Services Committee who has NO SHAME in her game, tagged SBF in what was widely seen as a suck-up tweet, saying “we appreciate that you’ve been candid in your discussions about what happened at #FTX. Your willingness to talk to the public will help the company’s customers, investors, and others. To that end, we would welcome your participation in our hearing on the 13th.”

Worry not, Waters is holding a hearing to investigate the events around the collapse of crypto exchange FTX and is certain to get to the bottom of what went down — right?

This being the same Maxine Waters seen below, blowing Bankman-Fried a kiss last year when he appeared before her committee:

Given the oddly chummy relationship between the two, Waters’ upcoming hearing is just the latest reminder that for Democrats, politics is all about theater.

At the same time, Federal Election Commission records show that SBF and his co-founders at FTX contributed over $300,000 to nine members of the House Financial Services Committee, according to The Washington Free Beacon.

National Review’s Jim Geraghty did a deep dive into explaining cryptocurrency and how Bankman-Fried was being looked upon as “the next Warren Buffett.”

He also offered this, “FTX has since filed for bankruptcy, and John Jay Ray III, who is running what’s left of the company, declared in the bankruptcy filing that basically no one at FTX left any records of what they were doing, and may well have never understood what they were doing when they were actually doing it.”

“That last one makes you wonder if Bankman-Fried didn’t want to leave any paper trail of what he was doing with other people’s money,” Geraghty would add. “The much-celebrated wunderkind now looks like either a crook, or a nut, or both.”

Which may explain why Maxine Waters is welcoming him on Dec. 13 with open arms — a possible air kiss or two. As one social media user suggested, “the bribes are wide out in the open.”

Here’s a quick sampling of responses to the story from Twitter:

Tom Tillison


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