FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried is warning Congress that his upcoming appearance before the House Financial Services Committee is unlikely to contain many bombshells about how his Bahamas-based cryptocurrency exchange went bankrupt.
In a Twitter Spaces event on Monday, Bankman-Fried said she wanted lawmakers to know that her remote appearance on Tuesday was “going to be frustrating and disappointing in a way, because I wasn’t going to be able to answer questions that I would really like to.” I want power, and frankly, I really should be able to.”
Bankman-Fried, who, along with FTX, is the subject of multiple criminal and civil investigations, declined an invitation from the president of Financial Services. maxine waters (D-Calif.) earlier this month and agreed to testify after she threatened him with a subpoena. The former billionaire and political megadonor had been one of the highest-profile crypto executives in Washington before his company ran aground amid allegations of fraud and mismanagement last month.
While he has recounted the collapse to various news outlets, he has also repeatedly claimed that his lack of personal access to FTX’s records has made it difficult to answer for the specific failures that contributed to the company’s eventual bankruptcy.
“I wanted to make sure that it was clear to the representatives. waters and [ranking Republican Patrick] McHenry — and to the committee … that they weren’t going to get a lot of the answers they’re looking for by having me testify,” Bankman-Fried said.
FTX’s new CEO and restructuring officer, John Ray III, who is also scheduled to testify Tuesday, has said the magnitude of the company’s lack of corporate controls is “unprecedented”.
Senate Bank President sherrod brown (D-Ohio) and leading Republican Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) have made similar threats, but Bankman-Fried said Monday that she does not expect to testify Wednesday at a Senate hearing covering the FTX debacle.