House Financial Services Committee Chair Maxine Waters said in a tweet Wednesday that a subpoena for FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried to testify “is definitely on the table” at a December 13 hearing into the dive bomb her crypto exchange suffered last month, despite reports that she had no plans to subpoena him.
Still, Waters’ tweet doesn’t say that Bankman-Fried will be subpoenaed, but rather “has been asked to testify.” Bankman-Fried is currently in the Bahamas.
CNBC reported Wednesday that Waters told Democrats she was not considering subpoenaing Bankman-Fried, during a private meeting Tuesday with Gary Gensler, the Security and Exchange Commission President.
Those privy to the conversation declined to be named, the report said, but said Waters wanted to see if the committee could get Bankman-Fried to testify for himself.
Bankman-Fried is facing a barrage of legal repercussions over his involvement in the collapse of FTX, which led him to file for bankruptcy in November.
A full-fledged liquidity crunch forced FTX to file for bankruptcy and Bankman-Fried’s wealth, estimated at $15.6 billion just before the statement, plummeted to the point that the Bloomberg Billionaires Index estimated it was n had no material wealth.
He became a billionaire after creation of FTX, as well as a subject of media fascination. Bankman-Fried was also a philanthropist and has donated to causes that address issues such as pandemics and climate change, as well as donations to Democrats and liberal PACs.
Thanks to these donations, he became a major player in Washington.
Waters, a Democrat, will lose her position as committee leader on January 3, 2023, as Republicans take control of the House of Representatives.
Once that power is transferred to Representative Patrick McHenry, it will be up to him to decide whether to subpoena Bankman-Fried to testify at the next session if he refuses to do so on his own.
CNBC reported that Waters invited the FTX CEO to testify voluntarily, although she has the option to change her mind and subpoena him before Tuesday.
Waters told Bankman-Fried in a series of tweets that the information he has as CEO is sufficient for testimony, and would not only be “meaningful” to members of Congress, but “critical” to the American people. .
“Once I finish learning and reviewing what happened, I would feel like it was my duty to come before the committee and explain myself,” Bankman replied. -Fried. “I’m not sure that will happen by the 13th, but when it does I will testify.”