‘Both Sides’ Got Money: Maxine Waters Dodges Question on FTX, Democrat Ties

While some Democrats have decided to recommit funds they received from FTX donations to other party campaigns or charities after the crypto exchange went bankrupt, California Democrat Representative Maxine Waters told Fox Business that she didn’t “want to get into that.”

When asked if Democrats who received cash for their campaigns from FTX should have to give it back, Waters replied, “Well, I don’t want to get into that. As a matter of fact, both sides, Democrats and Republicans, have received donations. So, thank you.”

However, Waters, who serves as Chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee, did say that legislators will put together a hearing to “explore exactly what has taken place” regarding FTX.

Founder of the now-bankrupt crypto exchange FTX, Sam Bankman-Fried, was a significant contributor to Democrat candidates during the midterms. Fried funneled most of his donations through a less significant political action committee (PAC).

In 2021 and 2022, Bankman-Fried donated almost $38 million to various PACs and candidates, mostly donating to left-wing groups and Democrat candidates, according to filings with the Federal Election Commission (FEC). Most of Bankman-Fried’s political donations went to Protect Our Future PAC, a group dedicated to preventing future pandemics by boosting candidates.

According to FEC records, Bankman-Fried wired an initial $9 million to the PAC in February, shortly after it was created. He then donated three more times totaling $18 million between March and June, which increased the total donation to the PAC to $27 million.

Celebrities named in class-action lawsuit

Bankman-Fried was hit with a class-action lawsuit filed by investors that alleges he and other well-known celebrities, including NBA star Stephen Curry and NFL quarterback Tom Brady, had made consumers suffer more than $11 billion in damages and violated Florida law. 

The lawsuit names “Sam Bankman-Fried, Tom Brady, Gisele Bundchen, Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors, Shaquille O’Neal, Udonis Haslem, David Ortiz, William Trevor Lawrence, Shohei Ohtani, Naomi Osaka, Lawrence Gene David, and Kevin O’Leary.” It seeks to make them “responsible for the many billions of dollars in damages they caused Plaintiff and the Classes and to force Defendants to make them whole.”

According to the lawsuit, it was filed in Florida because the defendants “conduct business in Florida, and/or have otherwise intentionally availed themselves of the Florida consumer market through the promotion, marketing, and sale of FTX’s YBAs in Florida, which constitutes committing a tortious act within the state of Florida.”

Bankman-Fried admitted his fault in a tweet that read, “I’m sorry. That’s the biggest thing. I f—ed up and should have done better.”