FTX was the third-largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world until it collapsed on Nov. 11. Various online claims have been made that Ukraine invested in the crypto-scam company FTX, whose CEO Sam Bankman-Fried has spent tens of millions of what appear to be skimmed funds to support Democrat candidates and their like-minded political action committees during the 2022 election cycle.
Some of Bankman-Fried’s money went to Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s campaign and the Alaska Democratic Party, and some was funneled to the effort to elect dozens of Democrat candidates around the country, including Congresswoman Mary Peltola through the House Majority PAC.
The biggest campaign spending by Bankman-Fried was $27 million to a Democratic political action committee called Protect Our Future.
Now, a group of House Republicans is asking Secretary of State Antony Blinken to come clean on whether that money was laundered through Ukraine and if U.S. taxpayer aid sent to Ukraine was then funneled into investments in the now-bankrupt FTX. If so, that could mean that taxpayer funds were shuffled around to ultimately support Democrats running for office this year. Bankman-Fried spent nearly $40 million on the 2022 midterms, money that was taken from his cryptocurrency subsidiaries before he declared FTX bankrupt.
The Associated Press and Time Magazine assure readers that no such proof exists that U.S. aid dollars were invested in FTX. But there have been significant investments through the cryptocurrency world in the war between Ukraine and Russia, and it’s provable that money has gone at least one way. What has not been proved is whether Ukraine then invested in FTX as a sort of quid pro quo.
The Associated Press wrote that the claim that U.S. aid to Ukraine was laundered back to the Democratic Party though FTX is false.
“The Ukrainian government has not invested nor stored money in FTX, according to the country’s Ministry of Digital Transformation. These claims misrepresent a short-term initiative in Ukraine that used FTX to convert cryptocurrency donations for the war effort into government-issued currency. While FTX’s former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried has donated large sums to Democrats, records show he and other FTX executives also have donated to conservative groups,” the Associated Press wrote on Thursday.
The amounts donated to conservative groups by Bankman-Fried is minor, and includes the campaigns of Sen. Lisa Murkowski, Susan Collins, and Mitt Romney — not senators that some would consider conservative.
Read the Associated Press‘ full report on the matter at this link.
But news agencies and fact-check websites are only disputing the allegations based on the word of Ukrainian government officials.
Transparency International’s 2021 Corruption Perceptions Index has Russia at the top of the list, as the most corrupt country in Europe, followed by Ukraine. Ukraine is ranked 122nd out of 180 countries for corruption. Its officials being the basis for a claim of “false” may not be good enough for many Americans.
There is an absolutely established link between FTX and the war in Ukraine. It involves a Ukrainian website called Aid For Ukraine.
In March of 2021, Aid For Ukraine was launched to raise money from the crypto community for the benefit of “Ukraine’s military and humanitarian needs.” The initiative is powered by the Ukrainian government’s Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine, FTX, and Everstake, the largest decentralized staking provider in the blockchain industry. This is the first instance of a cryptocurrency exchange providing a conduit for crypto donations to a public financial institution, the announcement noted.
Must Read Alaska is not linking the related websites in this scandal due to the possibility of bad actors. The link here goes to PRNewswire’s announcement of the Aid for Ukraine project. The link to the actual Aid for Ukraine website goes to a Ukrainian government website:
Fox Business news outlet reported on Friday it had acquired the letter written by several Republican House Representatives to U.S. Secretary of State Blinken regarding their concerns that some of the $66 billion in U.S. aid sent to Ukraine has been redirected to the Democratic party through FTX.
The letter was signed by Reps. Troy Nehls and Louie Gohmert of Texas, Rep. Byron Donalds of Florida, and Rep. Mary Miller of Illinois, according to Fox. The letter is not posted online, but the Representatives stated “it has come to their attention that billions of taxpayer dollars sent to Ukraine to assist with their war efforts were potentially invested in a crypto exchange that then made massive donations to Democrats” during the past midterm elections, according to Fox.
FTX collapsed when investors discovered it was a Potemkin village that was completely fraudulent, and was exposed as not having enough assets to redeem client withdrawals, which created a three-day “run” on the cryptocurrency exchange, leading to FTX filing for Bankruptcy on Nov. 11.
FTX founder and the No. 2 donor to the Democratic Party Bankman-Fried now faces criminal investigations in the Bahamas, where the exchange was headquartered and where he is holed up.