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U.S. House Committee Chairwoman Under Fire For Tone of SBF Invitation

2 mins
3 December 2022, 11:36 GMT+0000
Updated by Paolo Besabella
3 December 2022, 12:19 GMT+0000
In Brief
  • Chairwoman Maxine Waters commended Sam Bankman-Fried willingness to talk to the public.
  • The crypto community criticized the lawmaker for the tone of her invitation.
  • The House financial committee is scheduled to hold a hearing on FTX's collapse on December 13.
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The crypto community is criticizing the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services leadership for the tone of its invitation to Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF).

The Committee Chairwoman, Maxine Waters, on December 2, tweeted the invitation to the founder of the bankrupt exchange. Waters commended SBF’s candidness in discussing what happened at the firm, saying his “willingness to talk to the public will help the company’s customers, investors, and others.”

The House Committee scheduled an investigative hearing for the failed exchange on December 13. The Committee into FTX’s demise and its “broader consequences for the digital asset ecosystem.” It invited all related entities like Binance that played a role in the eventual collapse of the exchange.

Crypto Community Criticizes Waters’ SBF Invitation

Meanwhile, the crypto community has not taken Waters’ invitation kindly, as many have criticized the lawmaker for her choice of words.

Crypto project LBRY, which recently lost a case to the US SEC, asked what it must do to get this friendly treatment from the government.

Some also speculated that Waters tweeted this way because SBF had donated to her campaign, while some shared videos of her blowing the FTX founder a kiss.

Why is the Crypto Community Concerned?

Reports revealed that SBF and his co-founders donated over $300,000 to nine House Financial Services Committee members. Chairwoman Waters also reportedly dodged questions about whether she was concerned about these political donations. 

While SBF did not make any direct donations to the campaigns of the Chairwoman, he made substantial donations to her political party Democrats. He and his father also posed for a photo with the lawmaker at the Democrat retreat in Philadelphia in March. 

Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) and Maxine Waters
SBF, his dad, and Maxine Waters (Source: The Street)

Republican Lawmaker asks SBF to Testify Before Financial Committee

Ranking Republican lawmaker Patrick Henry was more direct as he asked SBF to appear before the House Committee and testify. Henry said:

“As you said, you have a duty to “try to do what’s right” and to “help customers out here.” If this is a true statement, testify before the House Financial Services.”

Meanwhile, the House Financial Service Committee is not the only federal institution interested in the FTX collapse. The members of the Senate Agriculture Committee had a hearing on the issue on December 1, where they questioned the chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Rostin Behnam.


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