Sam Bankman-Fried: OK, I'll Talk to Congress

Ex-CEO of failed FTX set to appear Tuesday in front of House Committee on Financial Services
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 9, 2022 1:45 PM CST
Sam Bankman-Fried: OK, I'll Talk to Congress
Sam Bankman-Fried, former CEO of the failed cryptocurrency exchange FTX, in a screenshot from a "Good Morning America" interview.   (Good Morning America/ABC News via AP)

Sam Bankman-Fried has been talking to the media about the collapse of his FTX cryptocurrency firm, and now he says he's willing to talk to Congress, too. CNBC reports that Bankman-Fried announced as much Friday in a series of tweets, writing that he'll be at the Tuesday morning hearing before the House Committee on Financial Services, though it's not clear if he'll attend in person or remotely. He warned, however, that "I still do not have access to much of my data—professional or personal. So there is a limit to what I will be able to say, and I won't be as helpful as I'd like." He added that he hoped to discuss "what I think led to the crash" of his company, as well as "my own failings." He also apologized for becoming "lazy" and "disconnected," noting, "Hopefully people can learn from the difference between who I was and who I could have been."

The Wall Street Journal notes that Bankman-Fried's decision to testify came after a bit of back-and-forth on Twitter between himself and Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters, who chairs the committee. The conversation began last Friday, when Waters invited Bankman-Fried to take part in the Dec. 13 hearing. His reply: "Once I have finished learning and reviewing what happened, I would feel like it was my duty to appear before the committee and explain." He added he didn't think that he'd be done with that review process by the time the panel convened, but that when he was done, "I will testify." That's when Waters seemed to become peeved.

"Based on your role as CEO and your media interviews over the past few weeks, it's clear to us that the information you have thus far is sufficient for testimony," she tweeted on Monday, calling his participation "imperative." "[T]he collapse of FTX has harmed over one million people. Your testimony would not only be meaningful to Members of Congress, but is also critical to the American people." Waters also blasted "lies" she said were circulating, claiming she was unwilling to subpoena Bankman-Fried. "A subpoena is definitely on the table," she wrote. The Senate Finance Committee has also hinted that a subpoena may be imminent to compel Bankman-Fried to testify at one of its own hearings, per Axios. (Read more Sam Bankman-Fried stories.)

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