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RandolphCarter15 t1_j9ues91 wrote

It's weird that "cooperating with prosecutors" is seen as a bad thing. She's not under investigation, it's the source of the funds. VTDigger is trying very hard to make this a scandal.


StankyBo t1_j9trn8y wrote

It's a fraught legal issue. Makes sense not to make public statements about it and defer to lawyers. Standard best practice for guilty and not guilty parties, no?


vermontaltaccount t1_j9u0ykc wrote

100%. Reddit and the general public think "If they aren't talking, they're hiding something and must be guilty".

You know what happens to innocent people who talk? They go to jail, because they accidentally incriminate themselves.

Honestly people like the OP who criticize Balint for not talking are part of the reason so many innocent people go to jail. Common tactic of cops to say things like "Well, if you won't answer my questions, that'll make you look guilty." And then ask you a question like

"Do you remember where you got these drugs, yes or no?"


"So you admit these are your drugs".

If you are involved in any form of legal proceeding, do not talk, and do not like redditors like the OP guilt you into falsely incriminating yourself.


TrumpImpeachedAugust t1_j9uliab wrote

More and more, I'm starting to believe something that feels extra controversial: confessions should not be admissible in court, and it should not be possible to plead guilty. Reason being that there are just so many people who did not commit a crime, and yet end up confessing to it and/or pleading guilty, thus pointlessly ruining their lives.

When this happens, it's usually due to one of two main factors: either they entered an interrogation in good faith and succumbed to psychological pressure, or they were offered a plea deal that would only ruin their life a little bit.

The onus for proving guilt should fall entirely upon the state. Especially in this era where video evidence, DNA evidence, and extensively abundant meta data is readily accessible. It simply is not worth imprisoning innocent people for the sheer convenience of an expedited trial/sentencing.


HappilyhiketheHump OP t1_j9vebqj wrote

It’s gonna be a dark world when no politician ever makes a statement on a sticky issue and relies solely on their spokesperson/attorney.

Why such a low standard?


vermontaltaccount t1_j9vpw8i wrote

Do you think Balint is never going to comment on this ever? If she's cooperating with federal prosecutors, I imagine there is going to be an official statement released at some point.

"Speaking first without properly analyzing the situation and coming up with a clear and concise answer" is the type of thing Trump did. And look at not only the problems that resulted in his candidacy, but also the legal issues that have been ongoing as a result of it.


HappilyhiketheHump OP t1_j9w8j3q wrote

She declined to comment to VT Digger. She has been free with the media before and after the election, but on this issue, she’s avoiding the media.

Maybe that’s a good strategy. She is part of the largest fraudulent campaign violation that has taken place in the nation’s history.

In my original comment, I noted that there is no evidence she was aware of the fraud.

I had hoped she would be forthcoming when asked about this by the local press. Sadly, some of our federal delegation doesn’t take questions from the Vermont media.


vermontaltaccount t1_j9x5svw wrote

> She declined to comment to VT Digger. She has been free with the media before and after the election, but on this issue, she’s avoiding the media.

Yeah, because again, this issue is an active legal investigation. It's a totally different scenario. If she's cooperating with feds, depending on what's happening, she might not even be allowed to comment on it yet, who knows.

>Maybe that’s a good strategy.

"Maybe"? Again, this is probably like Law 101-level strategy. If you ever go to a lawyer about anything, the first thing they're going to ask you is "Have you spoken to this to anyone outside of my office?" and if your answer is "Yes" they're going to tell you to stop doing that immediately. If you say you've posted about it online, they tell you to delete it. There is literally nothing you can say publicly that will help your case, only things you can say publicly that will hurt your case.

To say it's "maybe" a good strategy is like saying "maybe" it's good to eat vegetables.


HappilyhiketheHump OP t1_j9yca5d wrote

The “she might not be able to comment on it yet” line is silly.

She is a US congressperson and can comment on anything she wishes, even ongoing investigations.

She is choosing not to comment and the optics are not good.

I don’t have a reason to believe she was aware of the fraud. She did benefit from the fraud.

I hope she gets it together over the weekend and agrees to talk about this with the Vermont media.


vermontaltaccount t1_j9ylk5d wrote

> She is a US congressperson and can comment on anything she wishes, even ongoing investigations.

lol, no, just because you're a congressperson doesn't mean you can ignore court or fed orders. What if she talked to the press and accidentally gave away information that helped Sam Bankman-Fried develop a better defense for himself?

If you've ever had jury duty it's actually specifically outlined that you can't, so I imagine that it's the same for her.

>However, once a jury is impaneled, journalists are prohibited from interviewing jurors while the case is being presented and during jury deliberations.

Again, I'm not saying she DOES have a no-talk clause from higher ups, but it's not unreasonable at all.

>I hope she gets it together over the weekend and agrees to talk about this with the Vermont media.

I hope she doesn't, because it would mean she is an idiot and I would no longer trust her to represent me.

Have you seen Breaking Bad? There's a scene in it where they actually joke about this with Badger.

>Did you say anything stupid? And by anything stupid I mean anything at all.

So I have to emphasize again, that the thing you are asking our congressperson to do, talk about an active legal case, is so well known in the public conscious as a horrible idea that modern media actually jokes about that one of the dumber meth dealers in a TV show might do it.


HappilyhiketheHump OP t1_j9z7jmn wrote

You watch too much TV.


vermontaltaccount t1_j9zgshg wrote

Haha, alright, the only thing I was trying to do was exemplify that the thing I'm saying isn't some obscure factoid or advice, it's common knowledge that I would expect a normal person to understand.

Let me ask you something: What does she stand to gain from a legal perspective? Again, I must emphasize legal, not "public image".

Here are the two ways it could play out:

-She says something good to the press. This is a net neutral because she could have saved it for the court.

-She says something bad. Now she is at a net loss.

She stands to gain absolutely nothing from speaking, only potentially lose.


yerkah t1_j9ue6jl wrote

My guess is that the lawyers helped with the campaign's response. It was carefully worded and much better than just radio silence from the Balint team.


Cease_Cows_ t1_j9u0mr6 wrote

It sounds like the Balint campaign had no idea these funds were being spent and I'm willing to believe them on that.

But damn, the optics on our brand new congresswoman "cooperating with federal prosecutors" is a rough way to start out.


ArkeryStarkery t1_j9u60a1 wrote

Honestly, considering how many congresscritters are not cooperating with federal prosecution? I'd like the bar to be higher, but I have to note it's on the ground.


2q_x t1_j9tk9yo wrote

Told ya so on Aug 24th.

Food and vaccines are more important the crypto bros and tokens.

There are a number of local programs in the North East to double the spending power of federal food assistance money at local farmers' markets.

Since income-based food assistance is the monster provision in the Farm Bill, it might really be helpful to both local farmers and families if that funding came from the top instead of a hodgepodge of local organizations.

Lots of states get billions in pork for corn and soybean farmers, but that change would be something for Vermont farmers and families.


cpujockey t1_j9ti1gp wrote

Bad money is bad money.

Sbf is a tool. He's going down!


fauxscot t1_j9uu6vm wrote

Digger. Jeez.

Why would she not cooperate with people investigating someone else who has committed a crime. Next, the digger headline will be "Balint drinks di-hydogen oxide!" as if water is a bad thing.

Sometimes digger is just digger. Better than nothing, I guess.


Galadrond t1_j9xfcl9 wrote

VTDigger really has it out for Balint and others for no particular reason. I suspect there’s a biased Editor there or something.


ArkeryStarkery t1_j9u7w2u wrote

I'm so glad she got that cash. Everybody in Congress has to take dirty money to get there, but she's not beholden to those crypto-bros at all because they imploded so spectacularly.

Now she gets to do the work we sent her there to do.


sluttymcfuckstick t1_j9v753o wrote

Have you no scruples? So winning dirty and being beholden to special interests is Aok if it's your side doing it?


ArkeryStarkery t1_j9wae2d wrote

I used to think running a clean campaign and losing was superior, but then my candidates ran clean, got vote majorities, and still didn't make it into office, so I got realistic.

You didn't read all of my comment, though. I specifically said this was good because she's NOT beholden to these special interests. Because they're dumbasses who have no sway anywhere now.


sluttymcfuckstick t1_j9xejf4 wrote

Just cause they fucked up doesn't mean she wouldn't have held up her end of the bargain. She's a bought and paid for politician.


ArkeryStarkery t1_ja0embl wrote

We're doing the same thing we usually do; we're talking past each other. I hear what you're saying; what I'm trying to say in response here is that your point doesn't actually contradict mine.


HappilyhiketheHump OP t1_j9ybgtz wrote

Curious. Which majority vote getter candidate (where the rules state the election is decided by 50+1) didn’t get seated into office?


mrgrey772 t1_j9vvlhl wrote

A million dollars for a wet sock puppet! Cheap


SemperFuu t1_j9ttuvx wrote

😂 I met SBF a few times and never invested, nor did I in ANY exchange. Not your keys, not your crypto.

Politicians don’t give af about YOU! They only care if you have money to fund their campaigns or influence to pass legislation to help them.


sluttymcfuckstick t1_j9v7hc2 wrote

Progressive double standards? No way!

You all are such fucking hypocrites it would be funny if it wasn't so serious and pathetic.


xxxDog_Fucker_69xxx t1_j9tsxi7 wrote

Well she had no problem taking their money, but then again so did everyone else.


HappilyhiketheHump OP t1_j9tadnj wrote

At this point, there is no evidence the Congresswoman knew about the fraud. It appears she was used as a pawn in the FTX fraud agenda.

I am disappointed the Congresswoman is unwilling to answer questions from journalists at VT Digger.

Hiding behind a spokesperson is really bad optics Becca.


Bologna1127 t1_j9tcta8 wrote

Imagine you’re running for congress a criminal handed you $26k of ill-gotten money, and then became the focus of a Federal investigation. Then imagine you win the congressional seat and have a lot of work to do, because your constituents are scrutinizing your every move as a new representative. Wouldn’t you leave this issue of $26k from a criminal to people who are better at navigating a quagmire of campaign finance laws and Federal investigations so you could focus, say, on the work you were elected to do?


you_give_me_coupon t1_j9vur0a wrote

> Imagine you’re running for congress a criminal handed you $26k of ill-gotten money

I would disavow the fucking money. There is no money from top-end crypto ghouls that isn't dirty. If Balint didn't know this, she is an idiot. (But I know she's not.)


SemperFuu t1_j9tun32 wrote

😂 now replaces Congress for Legal System and replace “running for Congress” with “access to Justice”. the hypocrisy is staggering. Do as I say, not as I do. Y’all really will regulate yourself out of everything and thank the politicians as they do it. You know what happens if you’re a civilians and this happens? You go to court, you get sued by the state and civil, your life is put on pause and still have to get paid to pay your lawyers.

This just shows me she’s just as bad as every other politician ever.


Eternally65 t1_j9th9ba wrote

I might want to discover why someone - a criminal, as you say, although I didn't know that at the time - is handing me $26k. Nobody hands out that kind of money in Vermont just for fun.


Mr-Bovine_Joni t1_j9tj0be wrote

It’s a congressional race. Handing out money is exactly what people do


Eternally65 t1_j9tku6c wrote

I may be mistaken, but isn't there a limit on donations from an individual, like under $3,000? And even then, aren't the donors required to identify themselves and their employer?


Mr-Bovine_Joni t1_j9tn2iy wrote

Did you happen to read the article linked? It explains the situation pretty clearly. The money came from the LGBTQ Victory Fund

From the article:

> Silver reiterated what she and her boss have said for months: “The Balint Campaign has never had any contact with Mr. Bankman-Fried and has never solicited donations from him or his FTX associates. The campaign has no knowledge of how Mr. Bankman-Fried's political contributions were solicited or given.”


> We are keeping [fund from SBF and associates] in our sequestered account awaiting DOJ guidance on what to do,” Silver continued. “But we very much are looking to get this money back to the people who were harmed by this alleged fraud and are really hoping that the U.S. Attorney's Office can get to the bottom of what happened so that we can move forward.”


Eternally65 t1_j9ty6j8 wrote

I read it. It seems to me that the Victory Fund spent money, but the $26,000 was contributed by mostly un-named individuals including Bankman-Fried. If you have a different interpretation, I'm all ears.

Something stinks here, but that is to be expected when dealing with politicians, as far as I can tell. I don't know why I keep getting surprised and disappointed.

All I can do is continue to vote against every incumbent in every election. Except Bernie. I like Bernie.


yerkah t1_j9ubzli wrote

Nothing stinks here at all from the perspective of the Balint campaign, regardless of your thoughts on her. Campaigns not only are under no obligation to investigate the motives or sources of random contributions from individuals, it can be potentially illegal for them to do so. The $26K donated via these personal contributions is a drop in the bucket compared to the funds donated to the Balint campaign by individual donors, let alone the very high number of people within and outside of Vermont who did so. Individual donors could have donated via PayPal to Balint's campaign through her website, using an unnamed PayPal account, as long as donations are below the threshold limit for campaign financing. This could have happened to Sanders or any other progressive candidate receiving many small donations from individuals through grassroot campaign fundraising. This is how campaign finance works, and the statements by her campaign manager were direct and sensible. There is a good argument that Balint isn't responsible for returning any of the FTX funds, legally speaking. But politically, they don't want to hold onto money if the DOJ concludes that the donor procured it through fraudulent means.

There is simply a (reasonable) bias that all politicians are inherently "crooked," so when applying that bias, it's easy to assume the worst despite no evidence to that effect.


Eternally65 t1_j9uh238 wrote

"When buying and selling is controlled by legislation, the first things to be bought and sold are legislators."

I am continually amazed at the gullibility of the politically active, on both sides of the political spectrum.

The Balint campaign clearly was able to identify the source of the funds - yes, it "could have happened" some other way. But it didn't. I would posit that 99% of politicians are crooked, starting with the "slightly bent" at the local level, and rising up to "twisted like a pretzel" DC politicians. Balint is no different: she, like all successful politicians, wants to win. At all costs. Pay any price. Compromise any principles. "I don't think of it as selling out, I prefer Buying In."

By DC standards, normal politicians (and their staffers) are those that can be bought - corrupt politicians can only be rented.


cpujockey t1_j9un3gc wrote

> bias that all politicians are inherently "crooked,"

Well when we get to the parts about lobbying and all - it really paints a picture, but that's not the case here. In time there will be some lobbyist that will corrupt her and turn her into a DC pawn. Give it time.


HomeOnTheMountain_ t1_j9tewwf wrote

No, the optics are the 26k, the spokesperson is just how you handle constant inquiries and about as standard as standard gets.


thisoneisnotasbad t1_j9vwzlq wrote

It was not just 26k. It was the super pac that give over 1 million to her campaign and allowed her to become a household name.

> Seven Days reported Tuesday that the LGBTQ Victory Fund, which spent just shy of $1 million on Balint's behalf in the race, had recently benefited from a $1.1 million donation from Nishad Singh, a top executive at the cryptocurrency exchange FTX


HappilyhiketheHump OP t1_j9tw3n8 wrote

In DC maybe. Becca has been open and available to the VT media leading up to and after her election.

Suddenly, she’s to busy and has to leave this national story for the spokesperson.

26k direct and another $1,000,000 dropped on your primary campaign. Yeah, it’s really bad optics.


you_give_me_coupon t1_j9vu591 wrote

> At this point, there is no evidence the Congresswoman knew about the fraud. It appears she was used as a pawn in the FTX fraud agenda.

For fuck's sake. Everyone called me a nutjob or a rightoid when I said during the campaign that taking money from any crypto ghoul was a terrible thing to do, but I was right and this is why. There is basically zero money at the top of the crypto world that isn't sleazy ill-gotten gains. It should be seen like taking money from a cartel boss - even if you don't know what the money will be spent on, or have direct knowledge of any specific crimes, it's a good idea to publicly disavow support from people who have people's heads cut off with chainsaws.

(And no, I didn't want Molly Gray either.)


tnowlan9 t1_j9tdqm5 wrote

I’m not sure balint was a completely innocent bystander in all of this. Recall that her campaign used a “red box” on its website to solicit super pac support.