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Congressional Subpoena for SBF 'Definitely on the Table', Says Rep. Maxine Waters

After taking a harsher tone on Twitter, the Democratic leader left open the possibility of forcing the FTX founder to testify about the company's collapse.

2 min read
Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA). Image: Shutterstock

Even after adopting a more assertive posture on Twitter, it did not appear that House Financial Services Committee chair Maxine Waters intended to subpoena FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried to testify before Congress on December 13, 2022, according to a CNBC report.

In response to such reports, however, Rep. Waters posted to Twitter, "A subpoena is definitely on the table."

Citing individuals with knowledge of a private meeting with SEC chair Gary Gensler earlier this week, CNBC reported that Congresswoman Waters told colleagues that she had no plans to compel the disgraced ex-CEO to come to Washington officially.

According to anonymous sources, Waters said she would prefer to convince Bankman-Fried to instead testify of his own free will rather than by subpoena. This would explain the almost friendly request on Twitter that the Representative sent Bankman-Fried on December 2.

"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 responded, punting on the invitation. "I'm not sure that will happen by the 13th. But when it does, I will testify."

Watching the developments, Crypto Twitter wanted to know why Bankman-Fried remains free and not forced to testify.

"SBF is one of the greatest fraudsters in history," Binance CEO Changpeng "CZ" Zhao tweeted. "He is also a master manipulator when it comes to media and key opinion leaders."

On November 11, FTX filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, days after Zhao tweeted that Binance would not buy FTX and that the company was liquidating its entire position in FTT, FTX's native token.

After filing for bankruptcy, Bankman-Fried went on what some call an apology tour, giving interview after interview. In a series of phone calls with Journalist Tiffany Fong, Bankman-Fried said he had used dark money to donate to Republican candidates while publicly donating to Democratic candidates.

Considering Bankman-Fried donated to both parties, the former billionaire may be waiting for Republicans, who are seen as more favorable to business and right now crypto, to take control of the House and Committee on January 3, 2023, before testifying.

As of Rep. Waters' latest public statement, however, he may not have the option of waiting.

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