House Financial Services Chair Waters doesn’t plan to subpoena Sam Bankman-Fried to testify at hearing on FTX collapse

CNBC

House Financial Services Committee Chair Maxine Waters informed a group of Democrats that she doesn’t plan to subpoena former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried.

Waters’ message to her members came at a private Tuesday meeting on Capitol Hill, with part of the discussion focused on Bankman-Fried’s possible testimony at the committee’s Dec. 13 hearing.

Bankman-Fried has yet to agree to voluntarily testify to the House committee on the crypto exchange’s rapid demise.

House Financial Services Committee Chair Maxine Waters told Democrats she doesn’t plan to subpoena former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried to testify at Tuesday’s hearing about the crypto exchange’s rapid demise, according to people with direct knowledge of the conversation. Waters informed committee members of her decision at a private meeting Tuesday with Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Gary Gensler on Capitol Hill, these people said, declining to be named in order to speak freely about private conversations. Those at the meeting say Waters said she wants committee staff to try to convince Bankman-Fried to voluntarily testify, those with knowledge of the meeting said. As of late Wednesday, Bankman-Fried has yet to agree to voluntarily testify to the House committee, two of the people explained. Waters, who will lose the chair title when Republicans take control of the House on Jan. 3, could end up deferring to Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., the panel’s top Republican and likely next chair, to decide whether to subpoena Bankman-Fried in the next congressional session if the FTX founder declines to voluntarily testify under oath next week. Bankman-Fried has been under scrutiny by federal investigators and lawmakers on Capitol Hill since his cryptocurrency exchange suddenly collapsed last month, bringing to light a host of questionable transactions. Senate Banking Committee Chair Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, announced that his committee will hold a hearing on FTX’s implosion on Dec. 14. The company’s crash arrived after FTX reportedly transferred billions of dollars in client funds to Bankman-Fried’s trading firm, Alameda Research.

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