Last Updated on October 23, 2023
McCarthy-backed Speaker of the House candidate Tom Emmer has been under scrutiny for his previous support and praise of Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of FTX crypto exchange, despite accusations of massive financial fraud. Emmer referred to Bankman-Fried as “a very likable young man,” both before and after FTX’s downfall, which drew comparisons to infamous Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff.
Even as FTX crashed and Bankman-Fried’s face was plastered on screens and media outlets worldwide, Emmer bucked the trend by not joining the chorus of politicians condemning the alleged scammer. Instead, he opted to reserve judgment until all the details emerged. Emmer’s defense of Bankman-Fried puzzled many, considering the laundry list of federal charges against him.
But Emmer’s flattery of Bankman-Fried and others tied to FTX did not begin when the exchange collapsed. In March 2022, when FTX was still in operation and financially backing the establishment’s political machine, Emmer joined a bipartisan group known as the “Blockchain 8.” Their objective was to impede federal inquiries into FTX, which they argued were hindering innovation. The group even penned a letter to Gary Gensler, the Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, expressing their concerns.
The revelation of Emmer’s longstanding support for FTX and its affiliates has come at a crucial time. Emmer is currently running for Speaker of the House, with backing from Kevin McCarthy. McCarthy himself recently made history as the first Speaker of the House to be removed through a motion to vacate.
However, Emmer faces opposition to his candidacy, including from former President Donald Trump. According to reports, Trump vehemently opposes Emmer’s bid for Speaker of the House. The former President has expressed his distaste for Emmer, labeling him as a RINO (Republican in Name Only).
The controversy surrounding Emmer and his association with FTX and Bankman-Fried raises questions about the judgment and integrity of the GOP Majority Whip. Emmer’s unwavering support for Bankman-Fried, even in the face of serious allegations, calls into question his ability to make sound decisions and prioritize the well-being of the American people over personal interests.
As Emmer’s bid for Speaker of the House progresses, it remains to be seen how his connection to FTX and his past statements about Bankman-Fried will impact his campaign and credibility. The public will be watching closely to see if Emmer can address these concerns and regain the trust of his constituents and colleagues alike.