Former billionaire and Democrat megadonor, Sam Bankman-Fried, reportedly considering paying former President Donald Trump not to run for president in 2020, according to an excerpt of a forthcoming book.
The excerpt, which was published in the Washington Post, was written by Michael Lewis, the author of Going Infinite: The Rise and Fall of a New Tycoon.
According to Lewis, during the onset of the 2020 presidential election, Bankman-Fried was flirting with the idea of providing $15-30 million to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to defeat candidates supporting then-President Donald Trump.
“On a separate front, he explained to me, as the plane descended into Washington, he was exploring the legality of paying Donald Trump himself not to run for president,” Lewis wrote, as reported by The Washington Free Beacon.
“His team had somehow created a back channel into the Trump operation and returned with the not terribly Earth-shattering news that Donald Trump might indeed have his price: $5 billion. Or so Sam was told by his team,” Lewis added.
The excerpt failed to indicate why Bankman-Fried did not go through with his plan to sway Trump from running for reelection.
Lewis was also interviewed on CBS’ “60 Minutes,” where he revealed that Bankman-Fried considered providing Trump with $5 billion.
“So he did get an answer,” Lewis said. “There was a number that was kicking around. And the number that was kicking around when I was talking to Sam about this was $5 billion.”
Michael Lewis reports that Sam Bankman-Fried considered paying Donald Trump not to run for president. He even got a number: $5 billion, but never learned if it was a serious figure that came from Trump himself. https://t.co/WtGO1TPP4A pic.twitter.com/WeKCNByiTk
— 60 Minutes (@60Minutes) October 1, 2023
Bankman-Fried pled guilty to seven counts of fraud and conspiracy relating to the collapse of his cryptocurrency exchange, FTX, in November 2022. He was then arrested in December, BBC reported.
Bankman-Fried was put behind bars after he was found guilty of misusing funds from investors and customers of his firm to pay for property and political donations through his hedge fund, Alameda Research. In 2022, as an example, Bankman-Fried reportedly spent 40$ million in donations to the Democratic Party.
During his court hearings, Bankman-Fried was also accused of trying to influence witnesses expected to testify against him. The 31-year-old now faces a maximum sentence of 110 years in jail.