Here Are 5 of the Shadiest Democratic Party Donors of All Time

Cryptocurrency mogul Sam Bankman-Fried was just the latest major Democratic Party donor to be publicly disgraced.


Maybe Democrats should have seen this one coming.



Total Democratic donations: $50 million

Notable recipients: President Joe Biden, Sen. Kristen Gillibrand, D-N.Y., the Democratic National Committee

The scandal: The collapse this month of FTX, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, which was once valued at $32 billion, left investors facing as much as $8 billion in losses.

Bernie Madoff, founder of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities

Total Democratic donations: $610,000 

Notable recipients: Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.

The scandal: From the 1980s to 2008, Madoff ran the largest Ponzi scheme in history, defrauding investors of $65 billion by using new investments to pay “returns.”

  • Regulators ignored repeated warnings about Madoff dating back to 1992.
  • After the scheme unraveled in 2008, Madoff pleaded guilty to fraud and was sentenced to prison, where he died in 2021.

JEFFREY EPSTEIN, billionaire financier

Total Democratic donations: $147,246 (plus $18,350 to Republicans)

Notable recipients: Former President Bill Clinton, Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., former New York Gov. Elliot Spitzer, former President George H.W. Bush

The scandal: A joint FBI-NYPD task force arrested the well-connected socialite in July 2019 on sex trafficking charges.

  • New York state prosecutors charged Epstein with sex trafficking and conspiracy to traffic minors for sex.
  • The grand jury indictment alleged that dozens of underage girls had been brought to Epstein’s residences.
  • In August 2019, Epstein was found dead in his jail cell while awaiting trial.

HARVEY WEINSTEIN, co-founder of Miramax

Total donations: $1.2 million

Notable recipients: President Barack Obama, the Democratic National Committee, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.

The scandal: In 2017, dozens of women accused Weinstein of exploiting his position as one of Hollywood’s most powerful film producers to sexually abuse them, sparking the #MeToo movement.

  • Weinstein was found guilty of felony sex crimes and rape in 2020 and sentenced to 23 years in prison.
  • In October, he was extradited to California to face a second criminal trial for sexual assault against multiple women, including Jennifer Siebel Newsom, the wife of California Gov. Gavin Newsom.

ED BUCK, businessman

Total donations: $500,000

Notable recipients: California Gov. Gavin Newsom, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey, Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif.

The scandal: In separate incidents in July 2017 and January 2019, Buck killed two male prostitutes by injecting them with lethal doses of methamphetamine as part of a fetish ritual at his West Hollywood home.