According to federal records, a former co-CEO of the notorious and insolvent cryptocurrency exchange FTX gave to House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.
In the 2022 election cycle, Ryan David Salame gave McCarthy a total of $8,700, according to documents from the Federal Election Commission. In contrast, according to FEC records, Salame contributed $2 million to the Congressional Leadership Fund, which is closely associated with McCarthy.
According to the website Open Secrets, Salame’s pledge of $2 million made him the nineteenth-largest donor to the fund.
McCarthy has not stated what he plans to do with the money he got from Salame. Friday, Zenger News reported that McCarthy spokesperson Christina Cameron had not replied to inquiries for comment.
The FEC provides political candidates and organizations with two alternatives if they accept funds whose legality is in dispute.
“If a committee deposits a contribution that appears to be legal and later discovers that it is prohibited, the committee must refund the contribution to the original contributor (if known) within 30 days of making the discovery. Alternatively, the committee may disgorge the funds to the U.S. Treasury,” the FEC said on its website.
The FTX leadership invested much on campaigns. Samuel Bankman Fried, the exchange’s creator, was the second-largest individual donor to the Democratic Party during the 2022 election season, after only billionaire George Soros.
The Washington Post reports that Salame, who turned on Bankman-Fried days before FTX entered bankruptcy, has contributed around $40 million to Democrats in this election cycle. Jim Geraghty, senior political writer at National Review, said in a story published by The Washington Post on December 1 that Salame compensated for this by donating $24 million to Republicans.
McCarthy, in an interview with Fox Business anchor Larry Kudlow on December 13, demanded full disclosure of how FTX went from high soaring to crashing.
The interview occurred the day following Bankman-arrest Fried’s in the Bahamas, on the same day the erstwhile crypto tycoon was scheduled to testify before the House Financial Services Committee.
“We really need to know, where did this money go? What was he doing? What was he providing? And I think having testified would have been the first start,” he said.
McCarthy dodged when asked if the money FTX executives provided candidates should be returned.
Kevin McCarthy Used FTX Cash to Defeat Conservatives in 2022??? https://t.co/LwL49iZokC
— Raheem J. Kassam (@RaheemKassam) November 20, 2022
McCarthy stated that Bankman-Fried never gave him money.
“I never received money from him. I received some money from an individual who worked there as well,” McCarthy said.
FTX’s clients lost an estimated $8 billion, which led to a congressional probe and Bankman-arrest Fried’s on fraud charges.