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Disgraced FTX founder invited to testify in Congress before Maxine Waters despite cozy relationship

On Friday, Rep. Maxine Waters and the House Finance Committee invited disgraced FTX founder and former CEO Sam Bankman Fried to speak at a hearing on December 13.

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Jarryd Jaeger Vancouver, BC
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On Friday, Rep. Maxine Waters and the House Finance Committee invited disgraced FTX founder and former CEO Sam Bankman Fried to speak at a hearing on December 13.

Prior to the crypto exchange's implosion, Waters had publicly displayed her admiration for SBF, even blowing him a kiss following a congressional hearing last year.

"We appreciate that you've been candid in your discussions about what happened at #FTX," Waters and the Committee said in a tweet to SBF. "Your willingness to talk to the public will help the company's customers, investors, and others."

"To that end," they continued, "we would welcome your participation in our hearing on the 13th."

The hearing has been titled, "Investigating the Collapse of FTX, Part I," implying that further inquiry will take place.

Many have since pointed out that Waters has exhibited nothing but admiration for SBF. Following a congressional hearing on the regulation of digital currencies in 2021, she blew him a kiss as he left the chamber.

As the Washington Free Beacon reports, over the years nine members of the Committee received a total of $300,000 in donations from SBF, only one of whom agreed to return the money following the FTX debacle.

When pressed on the donations, Waters engaged in whataboutism, pointing out that both Democrats and Republicans had benefited from SBF's money.

Following the collapse of FTX, FOX News' Tucker Carlson took aim at "corrupt" politicians who he suggested had enabled SBF.

"In Congress, which is also supposed to be overseeing the finance sector, Maxine Waters, who chairs the Financial Services Committee, was palling around with Sam Bankman Fried," he said. "That's a pretty good deal. You're running a scam, and the regulators are on your side."

SBF has largely laid low over the past few weeks, making his first public appearance at the New York Times' Dealbook Summit, where he claimed that he "didn't ever try to commit fraud."

Correction: An earlier version of this story stated that Bankman-Fried would be testifying before Congress at Water's invitation. She later declined to subpoena him. 

"House Financial Services Committee Chair Maxine Waters informed a group of Democrats that she doesn’t plan to subpoena former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried.

"Waters’ message to her members came at a private Tuesday meeting on Capitol Hill, with part of the discussion focused on Bankman-Fried’s possible testimony at the committee’s Dec. 13 hearing.

"Bankman-Fried has yet to agree to voluntarily testify to the House committee on the crypto exchange’s rapid demise," CNBC reported.

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