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A Political Initiative from Coinbase Features US Lawmaker with Ethics Violation



Rep. David Schweikert, listed as a lawmaker with “very supportive” views on crypto in the United States, reached a settlement requiring him to pay $175,000 in connection to breaches of House ethics regulations.

US-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has been recently working on actively advocating for crypto holders to directly speak to lawmakers. In its latest push, Coinbase featured a House of Representatives member who has been previously facing charges of 11 ethics violations.

By August 15th, over 54,000 people had joined Coinbase’s “Stand with Crypto Alliance” to connect with US lawmakers on the national level. This program enables users to track the “crypto sentiment” of members in the US Senate and House of Representatives.

As of the time of this report, the initiative’s webpage displayed Senator Elizabeth Warren and Representative Brad Sherman as being “strongly against” crypto policies, while Representatives Josh Gottheimer, Ritchie Torres, and David Schweikert were categorized as “very supportive”. Warren has often expressed concerns linking crypto to illicit activities like the fentanyl trade in China. Torres urged the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to limit its enforcement actions against crypto firms.

According to the information provided by Stand with Crypto, Schweikert has supported three pro-crypto bills during his tenure and has made four statements regarding digital assets. The alliance mentioned that “Members of Congress may have views you strongly agree or disagree with”, without specifically mentioning any non-crypto policy positions.

Crypto Donations and Campaign Finance

In 2020, the House Ethics Committee imposed a $50,000 fine on Schweikert for violating campaign finance rules that breached House ethics guidelines. In 2022, the Federal Election Commission fined the Arizona representative $125,000 for related allegations. The violations centered around not reporting loans and misusing campaign funds for personal purposes. Cointelegraph contacted Schweikert’s office for comment, but no response was received at the time of this report.

Among the donations received by the Stand with Crypto Alliance, there was a contribution of over $215 from a crypto user using the X (formerly Twitter) handle “Jerry Mander”, which is a play on the term “gerrymander”, referring to manipulating district boundaries for political advantage. Additionally, there was a $191.98 donation from an unverified account that might be associated with Roger Bartlett, Coinbase’s head of institutional operations solutions and Coinbase Treasury.

This political initiative represents the latest effort by Coinbase to encourage crypto users to support “pro-crypto candidates” in the United States. Currently, the exchange is facing a lawsuit from the SEC over alleged unregistered securities offerings, prompting calls from many lawmakers and industry advocates to dismiss the case.