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Bankman-Fried Puts Off House Testimony on FTX

Former FTX CEO and founder Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) said Sunday he would be willing to testify before congress, but would need to finish learning about the implosion of his crypto empire before he commits.

SBF was asked by chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee, Maxine Waters, to attend a hearing on Dec. 13 explaining his side of events. 

Appearing before congress would likely ratchet up pressure against the former FTX CEO and increase the spotlight on exactly what occurred over that past month and how the exchange was able to fall apart so quickly.

“We appreciate that you’ve been candid in your discussions about what happened at FTX,” Waters tweeted at Bankman-Fried on Friday. Waters added that his willingness to speak up will help affected stakeholders, including customers whose digital assets remain locked on the platform.

The representative for California’s 43rd congressional district was immediately criticized by some in the crypto community for appearing servile and obsequious. The relationship to Bankman-Fried in the past has been painted as attempts to further regulate the industry and cozy up over political donations made to specific members of the Democratic Party.

In a tweeted response to Waters’ request, Bankman-Fried said he would head to Washington DC only when he was ready, and following a review of events.

The polite refusal to testify comes despite Bankman-Fried’s multiple mainstream media interviews which he used to deflect some of the heat over his role in FTX’s implosion, including with CNBC and ABC News last week.

Both interviews have been criticized for their softball approach to questions over Bankman-Fried’s role in the commingling of customer funds with Alameda — estimated to have blown an $8 billion hole in FTX’s balance sheet.

It’s not known whether this postponement is a result of legal advice SBF has received, or if house members will seek to compel his testimony.

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