Just months before cryptocurrency firm FTX declared bankruptcy amid a meltdown, CEO and founder Sam Bankman-Fried was at the White House meeting with top officials in President Joe Biden’s administration.
According to Bloomberg, the last meeting — which was previously unreported — occurred on Sept. 8.
Bankman-Fried met with Steve Ricchetti, a senior adviser to the president. This, according to Bloomberg, “was the latest in a handful of sessions.”
“Bankman-Fried had at least three others previously disclosed in White House visitor logs,” Bloomberg reported Thursday.
“They include one April 22 and another May 12, each with Ricchetti, and one a day later, on May 13, with Bruce Reed, another senior Biden aide, officials confirmed. The final meeting is recorded in logs as two meetings held back-to-back, but was one meeting, officials said. Some of the prior White House meetings included others from FTX.”
The revelation comes as Democrats face heat for their connections with Bankman-Fried, who is now facing a slew of charges over the collapse of FTX and is out on bail after being extradited to the United States from the Bahamas.
In addition to being beneficiaries of SBF’s “effective altruism,” Dems on Capitol Hill have faced criticism for shielding FTX officials during testimony before Congress. Also being questioned is the timing of SBF’s indictment — right before the notoriously loose-lipped crypto-scion was scheduled to testify before the House.
Bankman-Fried, at just 30, was the second-biggest donor to the Democrats during the 2022 midterm election cycle.
According to OpenSecrets, of the $39.8 million he donated to political candidates, $36,793,956 went to the Democrats.
Only leftist moneybag George Soros, at $128 million, managed to top SBF.
Bankman-Fried was a fixture in Washington, arguing for more regulation for the cryptocurrency industry. He’d pushed for what’s now being called the “SBF Bill” — the Digital Commodities Consumer Protection Act.
“That bill sits at the intersection of the existential question now facing the crypto industry: Why did FTX collapse and how can repeats be prevented? FTX was a centralized exchange, a single point of failure – that did indeed fail, seemingly because of choices made by Bankman-Fried – in the crypto ecosystem,” crypto-centric outlet CoinDesk reported on Nov. 15.
However, the DCCPA would likely increase, not decrease, the power that centralized exchanges have.
“The DCCPA aims to amend the Commodity Exchange Act to give the Commodity Futures Trading Commission oversight of the crypto spot market. Under the DCCPA, crypto broker-dealers would be required to register with the CFTC and submit to oversight from the federal regulator,” CoinDesk noted.
Even though the bill’s biggest booster has now been charged with a slew of crimes, the bill’s sponsors — Democrat Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan and Republican Sen. John Boozman of Arkansas — have continued to push forward with it.
Meanwhile, Democrats on Capitol Hill are under fire for how they’re handling the investigation into the FTX collapse.
During a hearing on Dec. 13, House Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Rep. Maxine Waters of California, a Democrat, went bad-viral for trying to end the questioning of FTX CEO John Ray III, who was appointed to clean up the mess that SBF and Co. have left behind, before Republican Rep. Lance Gooden of Texas could ask questions.
“Chairwoman Waters, Chairwoman Waters, I’ve not had the opportunity to testify — or [rather] to question the witness,” Gooden said in the viral clip, reminding her that all the members of the body had an opportunity to ask the witness questions.
Waters went right on as if nothing happened, launching into her closing remarks:
Lmfao Rep. Maxine Waters tried to end the FTX hearing before Rep. @Lancegooden got a chance to question the witnesses, who had to remind her that all the members of a committee are entitled to questions. pic.twitter.com/wYTxSsLVg3
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) December 13, 2022
After Gooden made a parliamentary inquiry, Waters was forced to cede him five minutes of time.
Also during the hearing, Waters lamented that Bankman-Fried himself couldn’t testify, having been arrested just a day beforehand.
“Unfortunately, the timing of his arrest denies the public the opportunity to get the answers they deserve,” Waters said during the hearing.
However, former U.S. federal prosecutor and National Review editor Andrew C. McCarthy pointed out that the timing was “very curious.”
“This would’ve been under oath in front of Congress facing very hostile questioning, and why they would forego that opportunity — I mean, all they needed to do was wait a few hours and let him testify and then you could pop him at that point,” he told Fox News.
McCarthy speculated that the Democrats probably didn’t view the timing as that “unfortunate,” either.
‘JUST THE TIP OF THE ICEBERG’: @cvpayne: “I’m concerned a little bit at the market perspective from a contagion effect, but overall I’m really most concerned, and I’ve shared this with you all, that this doesn’t just become a Sam Bankman-Fried story…” @BillHemmer @DanaPerino pic.twitter.com/NSk6VXSb41
— America’s Newsroom (@AmericaNewsroom) December 13, 2022
“You have a Democratic Justice Department. It’s entirely possible the Democrats on the [House Financial Services Committee] did not want to hear a lot of questioning by aggressive Republicans about the fact that all that money went into these politicians, while the public, people who invested with SBF, appear to have lost their shirts,” McCarthy said.
And now we know that, a mere two months before his financial empire collapsed, SBF was at the White House, meeting with a senior adviser to the president.
How very, very fortuitous this all seems.
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