House Financial Services Chair Won’t Subpoena SBF
People talk a lot about the separation of “church and state” and not nearly enough about a separation of “economy and state” or more specifically a separation of “crypto and state.” But they should.
Imagine the head of the House Financial Services Committee in 2008 extending a polite invitation to Bernie Madoff.
“Bernie Madoff, what an honor it would be to hear your perspective about fundraising. Would you please join us to share your ideas?”
Ridiculous, right? And yet here we are:
House Financial Services Committee Chair Maxine Waters told the panel’s Democrats she doesn’t plan to subpoena former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried to testify at a Dec. 13 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 the private discussion.
Waters said she wants committee staff to try to persuade Bankman-Fried to voluntarily testify, those with knowledge of the meeting said. As of late Wednesday, Bankman-Fried has yet to agree to testify before the House committee, two of the people said.
Waters Tweeted: “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.”
For context, SBF gave $40 million to Democrats and was their second biggest donor this last election cycle, after George Soros. SBF was the second largest donor to both President Joe Biden in 2020, also after Soros.
Waters even blew SBF a kiss after he testified in May 20222 to a Congressional committee she chaired.