White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre declined to comment on a possible return of donations made by Sam Bankman-Fried to the Democratic Party. As a reminder, the former CEO of FTX was the second largest donor to the Democratic Party during the 2020 presidential campaign.
Radio silence on Sam Bankman-Fried donations
Karine Jean-Pierrethe White House spokeswoman, dodged questions from a reporter asking if Joe Biden, the President of the United Stateswas going yes or no return donations from Sam Bankman-Fried made during the 2020 presidential campaign.
Here is the exchange between Karine Jean-Pierre and the journalist during this press conference broadcast yesterday and recorded on Tuesday, December 13:
(Journalist) : “The President has received donations from [Sam Bankman-Fried] for his campaign, as have many leading Democrats and some Republicans. Will the President return these donations? Is he calling all the politicians who have received campaign donations possibly from customer money [de FTX] to return these funds? »
(KJP): “Look, I’m covered by the Hatch Act. I am limited in what I can say. Regarding everything related to political contributions, I refer you to the DNC [Comité national démocrate, NDLR]. »
(Journalist) : ” […] What is the opinion of the president, when -”
(KJP): “I can’t talk about it here. Even his opinion, even his thoughts on contributions or donations, I can’t talk about here. […] I’m covered by the Hatch Act, which I’m happy to say over and over again, because we believe in the law here. »
The Hatch Law, introduced in 1939 in the United States, aims to prevent federal government employees from participating in activities that are partisan or likely to destabilize the system in place. It also serves, in theory, to prevent coercion by government officials in order to prevent any influence on government elections.
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The weight of SBF in American politics
Sam Bankman-Fried, former CEO of the FTX platform, was known as the 2nd largest contributor to the presidential campaign for the 2020 elections with the Democratic Party. Thereby, SBF paid $5.2 million in support of Joe Bidenwhich remains a reasonable sum in comparison of his $36.8 million paid in the 2022 midterm elections.
Sam Bankman-Fried had also been involved to a lesser extent in financing the Republican Party during this year’s midterm elections, with “only” $240,000 donated. However, in mid-November, the person concerned said in an interview that he had given more in a hidden waybut this remains unverifiable.
Anyway, the funds involved here seem to come at least in part from funds deposited by users of the failed exchange, given the flood of information more surprising than each other concerning the management of the pre-bankruptcy business.
Also, due to bankruptcy proceedings, politicians affected by Sam Bankman-Fried’s donations may be required to return the money received. If this were to happen, around $73 million could be returnedin order, possibly, to participate in the reimbursement of the creditors affected by the case.
Note that some members of the American political sphere have already returned their donations received by SBF so as not to be further tainted by this affair.
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Source: Press conference (2’42)
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