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SBF Publicly Punts on U.S. House Hearing Invitation

Lawmakers wanted the disgraced cryptocurrency exchange founder to testify about the collapse of FTX.

3 min read
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Sam Bankman-Fried today replied to a Friday invitation from U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters on Twitter, saying he’s “not sure” he’ll be ready to participate in a scheduled Dec. 13 hearing in Washington, D.C.

Bankman-Fried was called to testify before the U.S. House of Representatives Financial Services Committee. The committee's ranking member, Representative Maxine Waters, tweeted to Bankman Fried that "we would welcome your participation in our hearing" on Capitol Hill.

"We appreciate that you've been candid in your discussions about what happened at #FTX," the Congresswoman wrote. "Your willingness to talk to the public will help the company's customers, investors, and others."

The invitation wasn’t a demand or subpoena, and Bankman-Fried’s response wasn’t a yes or no.

"Once I have finished learning and reviewing what happened, I would feel like it was my duty to appear before the committee and explain," Bankman-Fried tweeted back on Sunday. “I'm not sure that will happen by the 13th. But when it does, I will testify."

Crypto Twitter has taken note of Bankman-Fried's apparently nonchalant attitude toward the invitation.

"Our elected representatives exercise great restraint in communicating their expectations. And still this fraudster insults their authority," tweeted Paul Grewal, Chief Legal Officer at Coinbase. "What a disgrace."

Several Twitter accounts have also criticized Water's tone, including LBRY. The blockchain-based video streaming platform recently lost its battle with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for allegedly selling unregistered securities with its LBC token.

Others took the opportunity to call out Bankman-Fried, calling the ex-CEO a fraud.

Since FTX filed for bankruptcy on November 11, 2022, Bankman-Fried has been on what some have called an apology tour. The former billionaire and champion of effective altruism has taken several high-profile interviews, including with Good Morning America's George Stephanopoulos and CNBC's and the New York Times' Andrew Ross Sorkin.

These interviews, Bankman-Fried told Sorkin, have taken place against the advice of his legal counsel. During the interview with Sorkin, Bankman-Fried reiterated that he did not knowingly mix customer funds.

"I didn't knowingly commingle funds," he said, referencing the relationship between FTX and trading firm Alameda Research. "It was, in effect, tied together substantially more than I would have ever wanted it to be."

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