The leadership with the United States House Financial Services Committee have separately called on former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried to appear in an investigative hearing scheduled for Dec. 13.
In Dec. 2 posts on Twitter, House Financial Services Committee chair Maxine Waters, a Democrat, and ranking member Patrick McHenry, a Republican, requested SBF speak at a hearing aimed at investigating the events around the collapse of FTX. It’s unclear if the U.S. lawmakers intended the former FTX CEO to appear in person or remotely from the Bahamas.
“[Sam Bankman-Fried], we appreciate that you’ve been candid in your discussions about what happened at FTX,” said Waters. “Your willingness to talk to the public will help the company’s customers, investors, and others.”
“As you said, [Sam Bankman-Fried], you have a duty to ‘try to do what’s right’ and to ‘help customers out here,’” said McHenry. “If this is a true statement, testify before the House Financial Services Committee on 12/13.”
.@SBF_FTX, we appreciate that you've been candid in your discussions about what happened at #FTX. Your willingness to talk to the public will help the company's customers, investors, and others. To that end, we would welcome your participation in our hearing on the 13th.— Maxine Waters (@RepMaxineWaters) December 2, 2022
The House committee said in November it expected to hear from companies and individuals involved in the downfall of FTX, including Bankman-Fried, Alameda Research, and Binance. The major crypto exchange filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Nov. 11, with subsequent filings revealing the firm could be accountable to more than 1 million creditors.
U.S. lawmakers in the Senate Agriculture Committee held a similar hearing on Dec. 1, questioning Commodity Futures Trading Commission chair Rostin Behnam on FTX’s downfall and the impact on traditional financial markets. Behnam pointed to “gaps in a federal regulatory framework” that could potentially lead to investors losing funds in another major exchange’s collapse without additional authority for the financial regulator.
Some Crypto Twitter users pointed out that Bankman-Friend had donated millions of dollars to political candidates in the U.S. 2022 midterm elections. According to data reported by Opensecrets.org, these contributions included $5,000 donations to a political action committee supporting Iowa Representative Cindy Axne and New Jersey Representative Josh Gottheimer — both members of the House Financial Services Committee.
Rep. Waters, we appreciate that you're holding a hearing on the 13th, and we look forward to substantive factfinding about what happened at FTX. I am certain that factfinding will show that @SBF_FTX has not, in fact, been candid in his discussions. He committed fraud, full stop.— Jake Chervinsky (@jchervinsky) December 2, 2022
Since FTX’s bankruptcy, Bankman-Fried has stepped up his media appearances, repeatedly apologizing for mistakes leading to the exchange’s collapse. A Nov. 16 report suggested officials were considering extraditing the former CEO to the U.S. for questioning, but at the time of publication, Bankman-Friend was still in the Bahamas.