SBF Agrees to Testify Before Congress: Will They Ask the Real Questions?

 SBF Agrees to Testify Before Congress: Will They Ask the Real Questions?

SBF Agrees to Testify Before Congress: Will They Ask the Real Questions?

After days of trying to get out of testifying, Sam Bankman-Fried has agreed to appear before Congress.  Bankman-Fried will appear at a hearing on Dec. 13 before the House Financial Services Committee, probably via videoconferencing. Under oath, the ex-CEO of the bankrupt exchange will explain the recent collapse of his crypto exchange FTX and his role in it.
"I still do not have access to much of my data, Bankman-Fried said. "But as the committee still thinks it would be useful, I am willing to testify on the 13th."
The public is now waiting to see whether his testimony will provide new insight into the demise of the popular exchange. Earlier, Bankman-Fried suggested that he would not appear before the committee on the 13th. He claimed he had not “finished learning and reviewing what happened.” He added that he is unsure when he will have all the information but promised to testify then. Rep. Waters was not satisfied with that answer and pressed Bankman-Fried to appear before the committee.
"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," Waters tweeted in reply.
"As you know, the 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 added in a tweet addressed at SBF.

Waters Claims Subpoena was Always on the Table

If SBF did not agree to appear before the committee voluntarily, the committee would have the option to issue a subpoena. This would effectively compel him to appear under penalty of arrest. Earlier reports suggested that committee chair Waters said that she wanted to persuade Bankman-Fried to testify voluntarily.  Waters took issue with the reports. She said a subpoena was “definitely on the table” if SBF did not appear on his own accord.

Will Congress Ask the Real, Hard-Hitting Questions to SBF?

The hearing is likely to be a tough one for Bankman-Fried. He will be asked difficult questions on the collapse of FTX. These include questions about potential criminal liability, including the responsibility for commingling user funds. However, Bankman-Fried’s political connections, as well as his sizeable public donations to Democrat candidates, raise some concerns. Twitter replies between Congresswoman Waters and Bakman-Fried’s correspondence are filled with comments about potential collusion between the disgraced CEO and top politicians. However, multiple members of the Financial Services Committee suggested that they won’t go easy on the disgraced FTX CEO.  Ranking committee member Patrick McHenry (R-NC) called the FTX collapse “a dumpster fire” as committee members announced the hearing.  
“There is no sugarcoating it. The collapse has been a dumpster fire. Users left out to dry. Ecosystem in limbo,” McHenry said.
Others question whether SBF should be awarded the right to appear via videoconference. One of them is Congressman Warren Davidson (R-Ohio), also a House Financial Services Committee member. Davidson said he was “stunned” that SBF was not in custody. He added that SBF should be “brought in and questioned in the United States” and not allowed to appear from the Bahamas.
The hearing, which will take place on December 13, could be a defining moment for the crypto industry. It may set the tone for US regulation of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology in the future.

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