- House Financial Services Committee Chair invited SBF to appear
- SBF seems reluctant to explain what happened before Congress
- He says he’s not sure if he will have all the info by the 13th
Despite giving a series of interviews in the past few days, Sam Bankman-Fried seemed reluctant to testify before Congress.
The founder of the bankrupt exchange FTX, currently residing in the Bahamas, seemingly snubbed the request to appear at a congressional hearing about FTX’s collapse.
In response to the invitation by Committee Chair Rep. Maxine Waters, Bankman-Fried signaled that he might not be ready to appear at a Dec. 13 hearing to discuss what caused the FTX bankruptcy. Waters said that she would be willing to let him appear via video.
"Once I have finished learning and reviewing what happened, I would feel like it was my duty to appear before the committee and explain. I'm not sure that will happen by the 13th. But when it does, I will testify," Bankman-Fried responded in a tweet.
Bankman-Fried took heavy criticism from the public for his seemingly nonchalant response to the invitation.
"Scam Bankrupt-Fraud will answer to the House of Representatives when he damn well feels like it and decides to," one Twitter user wrote.
Blockchain Association Head of Policy Jake Chervinsky, a US attorney, shared his views. He said that Bankman-Fried’s reluctance to appear before Congress might have something to do with the consequences of lying under oath.
Translation: he doesn't mind lying to Andrew Ross Sorkin or George Stephanopoulos, but lying to Congress under oath is less appealing. https://t.co/DZTyzMwn9s— Jake Chervinsky (@jchervinsky) December 4, 2022
Waters Blasted for Being ‘Too Nice’ to Bankman-Fried
On Friday, Rep. Maxine Waters invited Bankman-Fried to testify before the House Financial Services Committee. Scheduled for Dec. 13, the committee will hold a hearing about the collapse of the FTX crypto exchange.
Waters, the committee chair, thanked Bankman-Fried for being “candid” about the collapse. She added that his willingness to talk to the public would help FTX customers and investors.
During his tenure at FTX, Bankman-Fried gave away millions in political donations. Campaign records show that the former FTX CEO gave mostly to Democratic candidates. However, Bankman-Fried insists that he donated to both Democrats and Republicans.
Waters, a Democratic representative, took criticism for what some viewed as an overly cordial attitude toward Bankman-Fried.
Hey Maxine Waters, we'd like to be treated nicely by the government the way criminals like SBF are.— LBRY 🚀 (@LBRYcom) December 2, 2022
Can you let us know how much to write a check for and where to send it?
Feel free to DM if you want to keep this private.
“We want him here," Waters later said in an interview. "If he’s talking and giving interviews, we’d like for him to be just as candid with us.”
On the Flipside
- Congress has not yet issued a subpoena to compel Bankman-Fried to testify. For now, he is not legally required to appear.
Why You Should Care
FTX’s collapse shook the crypto industry. A similar scenario could happen again if the main actors are not held accountable.