The Democratic Party has been in a state of nervous agitation ever since the Southern District of New York indicted Sam Bankman-Fried last month on a mysterious and vaguely-worded campaign finance charge. Paranoia is pervasive among Democrats who crossed paths with S.B.F., who solicited his money, advised on his philanthropy or moved in his political circles. Everyone is now preparing for the worst: door-knocks from investigators, document-retention requests, and potential subpoenas as prosecutors move forward in what could be the white-collar trial of the century.
There are nine months to go until S.B.F. will have his day in court, but I have recently learned new information that may illuminate the campaign-finance dragnet. In the last few weeks, according to an email passed my way, the S.D.N.Y. reached out to at least one recipient of donations from Democratic mega-donor Nishad Singh, a key S.B.F. lieutenant and the former engineering director at FTX, as part of an effort to investigate his giving.
The communiqué asks the recipient for a so-called “donor form”—likely a list of any disclosed information about the contributor—along with details on a record of payment, such as a check or a payment processing record, for the contribution made in Singh’s name. The email, sent shortly after the indictment against S.B.F. was made public, asks for these records to be sent within the next week, and threatens a subpoena if necessary.