The decision to avoid a second trial charging Sam Bankman-Fried with a conspiracy to make unlawful political donations and bribery of foreign officials has many conservatives up in arms.
Federal prosecutors said Friday that they do not plan to proceed with a second trial against Sam Bankman-Fried, citing public interest in a speedy resolution of the case that has seemingly irritated those who were hoping to see the disgraced FTX founder prosecuted to the fullest extent.
In a Friday letter filed in federal court in Manhattan, prosecutors said they do “not plan to proceed with a second trial” as “much of the evidence that would be offered in a second trial was already offered in the first trial and can be considered by the Court at the defendant’s March 2024 sentencing.”
“Given that practical reality, and the strong public interest in a prompt resolution of this matter, the Government intends to proceed to sentencing on the counts for which the defendant was convicted at trial,” the prosecutors added.
The decision by prosecutors not to hold a second trial against Bankman-Fried quickly drew backlash from those who had followed the case.
“So we won’t know which politicians he bribed or who’s campaigns he influenced? That collective sigh of relief you are hearing is from the DEEP STATE,” Rep. Tim Burchett, R-Tenn., wrote in a Friday night post to X.
So we won’t know which politicians he bribed or who’s campaigns he influenced? That collective sigh of relief you are hearing is from the DEEP STATE. https://t.co/8eEkYI869b
— Tim Burchett (@timburchett) December 30, 2023
Conservative commentator John Cardillo also weighed in on the announcement from prosecutors, accusing the Department of Justice of shielding Democrats from being named as recipients of Bankman-Fried donations.
“Sam Bankman-Fried will not face second trial,” Cardillo wrote in an X post. “DOJ is protecting his Dem donation recipients.”
CryptoLaw founder John Deaton, who has consistently commented on Bankman-Fried’s case, slammed the decision by prosecutors as a “disgrace.”
“The DOJ has shown again, that it is NOT an independent agency,” Deaton said on X. “Who is the Attorney General protecting?”
A disgrace. The DOJ has shown again, that it is NOT an independent agency. Who is the Attorney General protecting? https://t.co/f7G8hdfjvR
— John E Deaton (@JohnEDeaton1) December 30, 2023
Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk also commented on the prosecutors’ move to not hold a second trial for Bankman-Fried, insisting that the case has “became too high-profile for the DOJ to completely ignore.”
“The SBF case became too high-profile for the DOJ to completely ignore, but they made sure laundering $100 million of customers’ money to Schumer, Biden, and McConnell and other dark money groups would never blow back on the ‘elite.’ Trump faces 700 years in federal prison, but America’s uniparty cabal just gave themselves a get out of jail free card. You’re witnessing DC corruption in realtime,” Kirk wrote in a social media post.
The SBF case became too high-profile for the DOJ to completely ignore, but they made sure laundering $100 million of customers’ money to Schumer, Biden, and McConnell and other dark money groups would never blow back on the “elite.” Trump faces 700 years in federal prison, but… https://t.co/wC2l7ycl7H
— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) December 30, 2023
Weighing in on the matter, Trending Politics co-owner Collin Rugg said, “Making bribes with stolen money is fine as long as that money is going to U.S. politicians.”
“SBF donated $100 million during the 2022 midterms, pouring tens of millions into dark money groups with customers’ funds,” Rugg wrote on X. “Some of these groups were linked to Senate leaders including Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer.”
Rugg’s post to social media also included a clip that appeared to show Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., blowing Bankman-Fried a kiss during one of their encounters.
In 2021 and 2022, Bankman-Fried donated nearly $38 million to various candidates and PACs, mainly giving his cash to Democratic candidates and left-wing groups, according to Federal Election Commission filings (FEC).
The majority of his political givings went to the Protect Our Future PAC, a group founded in January 2022 that is dedicated to boosting candidates who are committed to preventing future pandemics.
Bankman-Fried, who was accused of stealing from customers of his now-bankrupt FTX cryptocurrency exchange, has been incarcerated since August when a judge revoked his bail for alleged witness tampering. He was found guilty earlier this month on seven federal charges, and his sentencing is slated for March 28.
Bankman-Fried made headlines at the beginning of the trial when he appeared in court with a cleaned-up look, sporting a trimmed-up coif and a suit after ditching the longer hairstyle and casual clothes he had become known for as CEO at FTX.
Prosecutors accused Bankman-Fried, who founded and controlled both FTX and sister hedge fund Alameda Research, of misappropriating and embezzling billions of dollars in FTX customer deposits, scheming to mislead investors and instructing other executives at his businesses to do the same.
In the trial, he faced two counts of wire fraud and five conspiracy counts. The charges combined amount to a maximum sentence of 110 years behind bars, but sentencing guidelines may call for far less than that.
Prosecutors said in their letter Friday that much of the evidence presented during the first trial would have been repeated at a second. They noted that since they “proved that the defendant engaged in a scheme to make unlawful campaign contributions, the Court may consider this scheme as relevant conduct at the defendant’s sentencing.”
Prosecutors also said they were prevented from including the unlawful campaign contributions charge because the extradition agreement with the Bahamas to arrest Bankman-Fried did not include that count.