By: David A. Giglio
I have to admit, when I first made my Twitter post outing Kevin McCarthy, Mitch McConnell and other Republicans that accepted money from various FTX executives, I did not expect it to take off like it did.
Almost immediately, the post went viral, and people began asking more questions than I had answers at the moment.
Their intrigue inspired me to dig even further into the situation to see what more I could uncover and infer from the trail of money left behind.
Below are the fruits of my labor as well as my personal observations based on the data collected.
The sortable spreadsheet attached at the bottom can be downloaded for free and provides names, dates, dollar amounts, and party ID of every member of Congress who accepted money from Team FTX.
FTX Executives who made political donations were:
TIER 1 (Big Money): Sam Bankman-Fried, Ryan David Salame, Nishad Singh
TIER 2: Clarissa Watanabe, Mark Wetjen
TIER 3: Ryne Miller, Ramnik Arora, Zachary Dexter, Adam Kalinich, Brett Harrison, Danielle Barrett, Gabriel Bankman-Fried
99% of the money donated by FTX Executives went to incumbents, who were extremely likely, if not guaranteed, to win reelection.
Of the small amount of money donated to challengers, funds were spent in OPEN SEAT races.
In a "toss-up' or newly drawn competitive districts, money usually went to both sides or to the candidate of choice in the primaries.
In races rated as "Likely R" or "Likely D," the money went to the candidate from that party.
On a few occasions, money was spent in these "Likely R" or "Likely D" races in the primary on preferred (establishment) candidates or candidates who appeared likely/had a strong chance of winning the primary. (ie. Max Miller (R -OH), Michael Guest (R-MS), Michelle Bond (R-NY), Carrick Flynn (D-OR), Francis Conole (D-NY)).
Donations were made strategically to members of Congress who sit on the most powerful committees.
Only 5 members of Congress who took money from FTX Executives voted AGAINST continuing aid to Ukraine.
Bilirakis (R-FL), Duncan (R-SC), Boozman (R-AR), Cammack (R-FL), Jackson (R-TX).
5 Congressman who received money from FTX Executives sent a letter to the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) in March 2022 seeking to stop the Commision's investigation into FTX and Alameida Capital.
Tom Emmer (R-MN), Tedd Budd (R-NC), Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), Jake Auchncloss (D-NJ), and Ritchie Torres (D-NY).
Samuel Bankman-Fried donated almost exclusively to Democrats.
His donations to Republicans were made exclusively to Senate Republicans who voted to convict Donald Trump in his second impeachment or who had publicly disavowed the 45th President.
Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Mitt Romney (R-UT), Ben Sasse (R-NE), and Susan Collins (R-ME), John Thune (R-SD), and John Boozman (R-AR). [Impeachers in italics.]
His other major donation to Republicans went to the following "conservative" PACs:
Heartland Resurgence PAC ($50,000), which spent money in the 2022 cycle protecting John Boozman (R-AR) and Ann Wagner (R-MI).
Results for NC, Inc., ($700,00) which is Thom Thillis' (R-NC) Super PAC that spent over $1 million to take out GOP Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) in his primary.
Establishment Republican Chuck Edwards (R-NC), who defeated Cawthorn, later received a max campaign donation from Ryan David Salame in September 2022.
America United PAC ($300,000), which is a PAC funded almost exclusively by the Never Trump Republican Ziff Brothers who were caught up in the Hillary Clinton funded Trum-Russia Hoax.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi's House Majority PAC received $6,000,000 from Sam Bankman-Fried in March 2022.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer's Senate Majority PAC received $2,500,000.00 from Sam Bankman-Fried and Nishad Singh in May, June, and July 2022.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's PACs received $2,621,100.00 from Ryan David Salame in August and October of 2022.
GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy's PACs received $2,105,000.00 from Ryan David Salame in June and March of 2022.
The vast majority of money donated to Republican candidates came from FTX Executive Ryan David Salame in mid-October of 2022 once it became likely the GOP would win control of the House.
We can't know for sure, but it would be fair to assume that these October donations were made to court favor from members of the Party poised to take power in January 2023.
Already subject of an SEC Investigation, it was likely that FTX Executives felt it was increasing likely that Congress would open a simultaneous investigation into their criminal behavior.
That is of course, unless you buy them off 😉.
The most interesting donations Ryan made to Republicans went to Max Miller (R-OH), Karoline Leavitt (R-NH), Ronny Jackson (R-TX), Steve Scalise (R-LA), Elise Stefanik (R-NY), Tom Emmer (R-MN) and Kat Cammack (R-FL), who is a member of the House Freedom Caucus.
It appears likely that these donations were made in an effort, to prevent a challenge to Kevin McCarthy as Speaker if the GOP were to win control of the House.
Scalise and Stefanik (Trump Loyalists) could have emerged as potential challengers to McCarthy, but both have publicly supported McCarthy.
Despite being staunch supporters of President Trump and members of the House Freedom Caucus, Kat Cammack and Ronny Jackson declined to support Andy Biggs as Speaker and instead publicly pledged support for McCarthy.
Leavitt lost in the general election.
Congressman-elect Max Miller has yet to make a public declaration regarding whom he supports for Speaker.
Donations made to Republican Senatorial candidates JD Vance (R-OH), Blake Masters (R-AZ), Adam Laxalt (R-NV), and Herschel Walker (R-GA) were likely done simply because it appeared that each one had a significant chance to win their respective races.
PRO TIP: If you are going to be under federal investigation, it's always best to establish as much "good will" as you can with as many Senators as possible.