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Rep. Maxine Waters insists that Bankman-Fried attend Dec. 13 FTX hearings

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(Kitco News) - Congresswoman Maxine Waters, the chair of the House Financial Services Committee, has fired the latest salvo in the ongoing battle between U.S. regulators and former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried.

“The collapse of FTX has harmed over one million people,” wrote Waters in a series of testy tweets last night. “It is imperative that you attend our hearing on the 13th.” Waters added that the Committee would schedule additional hearings “if there is more information to be shared later.”

Waters was responding to Bankman-Fried’s tweets from Dec. 4 in which he appeared to treat the chair’s Dec. 2 request to attend the hearing as more optional than imperative. “Once I have finished learning and reviewing what happened, I would feel like it was my duty to appear before the committee and explain,” he wrote. “I'm not sure that will happen by the 13th. But when it does, I will testify.

Waters referred to Bankman-Fried’s many interviews and statements to reporters and Twitter influencers, some of them hours long, as proof that the information he already has “is sufficient for testimony.”

Unlike his interviews, which some lawyers have said already incriminate him, Bankman-Fried’s testimony would be under oath, meaning he would either be forced to share information which could later convict him of crimes, or lie and perjure himself, thus committing additional crimes.

Many on twitter have been critical of Waters’ requests for cooperation and relatively civil tone and are calling for Congress to use its powers to force him to comply, but others have pointed out that issuing a subpoena can create procedural loopholes for Sam’s legal team which could cause months of delays.

The Dec. 13 hearing has been titled “Investigating the Collapse of FTX, Part I” and is expected to be the first in a series of hearings by the Financial Services Committee exploring the exchange, its business dealings, and the broader implications of its demise.

The attendees list for the hearing has not yet been released, but Waters and ranking Republican Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C. previously stated that in addition to Bankman-Fried, they would like to hear from other companies involved in the recent developments including Alameda Research and rival exchange Binance.

Lawmakers in the Senate are also investigating the FTX crisis in-depth, with the Senate Agriculture Committee holding a hearing last Thursday, and the Senate Banking Committee working on scheduling a hearing of its own in the near future.

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