On Thursday’s broadcast of CNBC’s “Closing Bell,” House Financial Services Committee Chair Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) said it’s up to individuals if they return campaign donations from former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried and she “possibly could” advocate people return the money if they don’t “feel comfortable” keeping the money.
Host Sara Eisen asked, “He gave $500,000 to the Democratic National Committee. And we just showed a number of your colleagues on the House Financial Services Committee that took donations from him. Should the DNC and your fellow lawmakers return that money?”
Waters answered, “Well, usually, that’s up to individuals about whether or not they return contributions that have been made. We have seen instances in the past where many members return contributions that they discovered had some fault, that they didn’t want to be blamed for having taken that contribution. And so, we don’t know what is going to happen with the return of contributions by Democrats or Republicans. But as we move forward with the hearings, we’ll learn an awful lot more.”
Eisen followed up, “They appear to be ill-gotten gains. So, it sounds like you would suggest that, if the investigations find that, you would advocate for returning that money?”
Waters responded, “I possibly could do that. I could certainly say to members, if you thought that this was the kind of contribution that you would feel proud of, then fine. But if you know there’s new information that leads you to understand that perhaps you do not feel comfortable now that you know these cryptocurrency companies, particularly FTX, have given contributions in spite of the fact that they have undermined consumers in the way that they have committed fraud, I would say you might want to do that, you might want to give that back.”
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