(Dmytro “Henry” Aleksandrov, Headline USA) Sam Bankman-Fried, the indicted founder of bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange FTX, allegedly wanted to give Donald Trump a $5 billion bribe so that the latter would not run for president again.
However, it’s unclear whether Bankman-Fried — a prolific donor to the Democratic Party before his company imploded last fall — ever actually offered the bribe, the New York Post reported.
His biographer, Michael Lewis, also said that he wasn’t sure if Bankman-Fried actually corresponded with either Trump or his team.
Before Bankman-Fried’s empire imploded, Lewis, best known for authoring The Big Short, was able to get to know him while he was conducting his research for his book, Going Infinite: The Rise and Fall of a New Tycoon, which was released on Tuesday.
During a Sunday interview with 60 Minutes, Lewis said that “the number that was kicking around when I was talking to Sam about this was $5 billion,” adding that “Sam wasn’t sure that number came directly from Trump.”
Due to that, it wasn’t clear whether Trump was even willing to negotiate with Bankman-Fried in the first place.
Bankman-Fried also mulled whether paying a politician to drop out of a race was legal, Lewis added.
“They were still having these conversations when FTX blew up,” Lewis said, even though Bankman-Fried ultimately didn’t follow through with the offer because federal prosecutors dropped a multi-count indictment on him one month after FTX collapsed in November 2022.
Lewis also added that in the end, a transaction was never completed because Bankman-Fried “didn’t have $5 billion anymore.”
“That only shocks you if you don’t know Sam,” he said.
The court document indicated that Bankman-Fried made more than 300 illegal political donations in the name of FTX staffers.
Before his empire’s demise, Bankman-Fried had been the second-largest donor to Democratic candidates and causes ahead of the November 2022 midterm elections, trailing only behind a globalist billionaire George Soros.
According to the prosecutors, he used $100 million in stolen FTX deposits to fund those donations, which he hoped would result in the passage of crypto-friendly legislation.