California representative Maxine Waters tweeted Monday that it was “imperative” Sam Bankman-Fried testify at the House Committee’s hearing on December 13, striking a firmer tone after the disgraced FTX chief responded to previous, friendlier requests by saying he would testify only after “learning and reviewing” what caused his exchange to collapse.
“As you know, the collapse of FTX has harmed over one million people,” Waters said. “Your testimony would not only be meaningful to Members of Congress, but is also critical to the American people.”
She added: “It is imperative that you attend our hearing on the 13th, and we are willing to schedule continued hearings if there is more information to be shared later.”
Bankman-Fried had previously been cagey about taking part in the hearing, saying: “I’m not sure that will happen by the 13th. But when it does, I will testify.”
Responding via Twitter Monday, Waters cited the many broadcast and newspaper interviews Bankman-Fried has recently done as evidence that he already knows more than enough to give testimony.
The Congresswoman’s revised stance toward Bankman-Fried was welcomed by the crypto community, though many remained critical of her decision to solicit testimony via Twitter. Others were unimpressed by the glacial pace of the congressional response to the crisis.
“I do not get this, why haven’t you subpoenaed SBF. It makes no sense that you haven’t done this just yet,” tweeted one user.
Bankman-Fried made yet another media appearance on Monday, speaking to The Block’s Frank Chaparro for two hours. Asked if he believed he deserved some form of punishment, Bankman-Fried said he thought “negative incentives” wouldn’t fix what happened.
“The only thing that can make it right by people, is something that actually counteracts some of what happened. That’s what I think matters,” Bankman-Fried said.