Rep. Maxine Waters, chair of the House Financial Services Committee, announced on Wednesday that former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried will be subpoenaed if he does not agree to testify voluntarily.
“Lies are circulating on CNBC that I am not willing to subpoena SBF. He has been requested to testify at the December 13th hearing. A subpoena is definitely on the table. Stay tuned,” stated Waters.
The financial outlet had cited people with direct knowledge of a private meeting between Waters and other Democrats, where the congresswoman reportedly said she didn’t plan to subpoena the former FTX chief.
Waters’ statements come after a back and forth exchange on Twitter with Bankman-Fried between Dec. 3 and Dec. 8. Waters initially called for Bankman-Fried’s testimony with a polite request, which turned increasingly stern after he made an excuse for not being able to attend the hearing on Dec. 13.
Waters is not alone. Joining the chorus of congressional pressure are senators Sherrod Brown and Pat Toomey, the chair and ranking member of the Senate Banking Committee. On Wednesday, the lawmakers echoed Waters, threatening to subpoena Bankman-Fried should he decline to testify voluntarily.
“The Committee has requested that he testify at our upcoming hearing on FTX’s collapse, and will consider further action if he does not comply,” the senators wrote in a joint statement.
Meanwhile, the former FTX CEO is in the midst of a series of inquiries from federal regulators. On Wednesday, Bloomberg reported that he had hired Ghislaine Maxwell’s defense lawyer Mark Cohen to represent him in court.
Among a series of probes by authorities into the activities of FTX is an alleged inquiry into the exchange’s role in the collapse of the Terra ecosystem. On Wednesday, the New York Times reported that federal prosecutors were looking into the possibility that Bankman-Fried used FTX and its sister company Alameda Research to manipulate the price of TerraUSD and LUNA.