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Biden DOJ Drops Campaign Financing Crages Against Sam Bankman-Fried

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Biden DOJ Drops Charges Against Sam Bankman-Fried Over $40 Million in Donations to Democrats

The US Justice Department District Attorney’s Office in New York has dropped illegal campaign financing charges of over $40 million against FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried due to extradition complications involving the Bahamas, where Bankman-Fried was arrested.

Assistant US Attorney Thane Rehn said in the letter that officials in the Bahamas had advised the US government that they “did not intend to extradite the defendant on the campaign contributions count.”

“Accordingly, in keeping with its treaty obligations to The Bahamas, the Government does not intend to proceed to trial on the campaign contributions count,” Rehn stated.

Bankman-Fried’s defence attorneys, Mark Cohen and Christian Everdell of Cohen & Gresser, had previously requested to dismiss the charge because it was not mentioned in the warrant of surrender issued by Bahamian officials during his extradition procedure.

The US Attorney’s Office successfully argued that Bankman-Fried “knowingly and voluntarily consented to extradition and trial on this charge.”

When denying Bankman-Fried’s motion to dismiss, U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan of the Southern District of New York also directed the government to keep him updated on any developments in the Bahamas. In his letter on Wednesday, Rehn mentioned that instruction.

Sam Bankman-Fried

Due to unresolved legal concerns in the Bahamas, Kaplan approved prosecutors’ request in June to detach numerous other counts from Sam Bankman-Fried’s trial, which is planned for early October.

Unlike the campaign finance allegation, which was included in Bankman-Fried’s original indictment, the severed counts were all included in superseding indictments after his extradition.

Brendan Quigley, a Baker Botts associate and former assistant U.S. attorney who handled extradition cases in the Southern District of New York, said he doubted the government’s decision not to pursue the campaign funding charge will impair its proof at trial.

This is “one of the challenges for the government of charging a very broad indictment with a lot of different theories,” according to Quigley.

Quigley added that, while the SDNY has a “well-oiled extradition process” with certain nations, such Colombia, where drug-related extraditions have occurred for decades, the Bahamas is most likely not one of them.

“Like any job, you grow incredibly good at the stuff you do on a regular basis… “[Extraditing from] the Bahamas on a securities fraud, campaign finance fraud, FCPA theory is pretty unique, and you can see how, whether on the Bahamian end or the US end, something like this might have needed to be clarified,” he said.

Bankman-Fried’s defence attorneys did not respond to requests for comment through a spokesman.

Prosecutors had submitted their first request for Bankman-Fried’s detention earlier in the day Wednesday, citing worries that his extrajudicial public statements could constitute witness harassment and taint the jury pool.

Sam Bankman-Fried

Sam Bankman Fried’s solicitors claimed that their client should stay under home arrest so that he can access papers and prepare for trial. Following an hour-long hearing, Kaplan ordered an interim gag order to allow for additional information on the matter.

In the 2022 election cycle, Sam Bankman-Fried gave approximately $40 million to Democratic lawmakers.

Bankman-Fried’s money, according to public records, mostly supported Democratic committees and candidates. He gave $6 million to the House Majority PAC, which is the largest outside group that supports House Democrats. He also provided the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee $250,000 and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee $66,500.

The majority of his political contributions — $27 million — went to the “Protect Our Future PAC,” which advocates for pandemic preparedness.

The “Protect Our Future PAC” spent $24.2 million on independent expenditures (mailers, advertisements) to assist 19 Democratic House candidates, including Georgia Rep. Lucy McBath and newly elected Florida Reps. Maxwell Frost and Jasmine Crockett. Carrick Flynn, who ran unsuccessfully for Congress in the Democratic primary in Oregon, received $10 million in outside funding from the “Protect Our Future PAC.”

Candidates are not allowed to have any say or knowledge of outside entities spending on independent expenditures to promote or oppose them under federal campaign finance law.

Sen. Tina Smith of Minnesota, a Democrat, received $5,800 from Bankman-Fried this year. According to her office, she has already given those campaign funds to Planned Parenthood North Central States.

Sen. Bill Cassidy, a Republican from Louisiana who is up for re-election in 2026, gave him $5,800 in August 2021. According to Cassidy spokesperson Ty Bofferding, the campaign will not hold the money and will “contribute the funds to an appropriate cause.”

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a New York Democrat, received $5,800 from Bankman-Fried in June 2022. Bankman-Fried also donated $10,000 to the “Gillibrand Victory Fund” joint fundraising initiative. According to Evan Lukaske, a spokesman for Gillibrand, she contributed the monies to Arriva, Inc., an organisation based in New York City’s Bronx borough “that aims to promote individual wealth and economic development in low-to-moderate income communities.”

According to a spokeswoman, Rep. Josh Gottheimer, a Democrat from New Jersey, will donate the $5,800 he got to charity. According to his office, Sen. Alex Padilla of California gave the contributions he received last month.

According to Bloomberg, two prominent Democrats, incoming House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries and Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, received contributions from Bankman-Fried and plan to give the monies.

Bankman-Fried contributed $5,800 to Maine Sen. Susan Collins’ campaign on various occasions. In September and October of 2021, she returned extra donations, citing contribution limits. Collins’ campaign plans to donate the remainder of Bankman-Fried’s donations to charity, according to a spokesman. In March 2021, Democratic Rep. Ruben Gallego, a probable Senate candidate in Arizona in 2024, refunded an excess gift from Bankman-Fried.

The CTNNews editorial team comprises seasoned journalists and writers dedicated to delivering accurate, timely news coverage. They possess a deep understanding of current events, ensuring insightful analysis. With their expertise, the team crafts compelling stories that resonate with readers, keeping them informed on global happenings.

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