Maxine Waters Criticized for Praising SBF — Lawmaker Says ‘We Appreciate That You’ve Been Candid’
Congresswoman Maxine Waters has been heavily criticized for saying that she appreciates former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) being candid in his discussions about the collapse of his crypto exchange, FTX. “SBF has not, in fact, been candid in his discussions. He committed fraud, full stop,” one critic stressed.
Maxine Waters Slammed for Appreciating Sam Bankman-Fried
Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), chairwoman of the House Committee on Financial Services, was slammed on social media after she tweeted her appreciation to former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) Friday.
Waters is leading a congressional hearing on the collapse of crypto exchange FTX, which will begin on Dec. 13. The lawmaker wrote: “We appreciate that you’ve been candid in your discussions about what happened at FTX. Your willingness to talk to the public will help the company’s customers, investors, and others. To that end, we would welcome your participation in our hearing on the 13th.”
Many people quickly pointed out to Waters that the former FTX chief executive is a fraud and should be arrested on sight. Some people have even compared Bankman-Fried and the FTX implosion to Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme.
“If you don’t arrest him I will have lost all faith in our government being the tiniest bit of just,” bitcoin proponent Dan Held replied to Waters.
Lawyer Jake Chervinsky responded to the congresswoman: “Rep. Waters, we appreciate that you’re holding a hearing on the 13th, and we look forward to substantive fact-finding about what happened at FTX.” He added:
I am certain that factfinding will show that SBF has not, in fact, been candid in his discussions. He committed fraud, full stop.
However, many people are not surprised by Waters’ tweet given her good relations with Bankman-Fried. At the conclusion of a congressional hearing last year, she even appeared to be blowing kisses at SBF. Some people also pointed out that the former FTX executive gave $300K to Waters’ committee members.
Crypto exchange FTX collapsed and filed for bankruptcy on Nov. 11. An estimated one million customers and investors lost billions of dollars in the meltdown. FTX is currently being investigated by authorities in multiple jurisdictions. In the U.S., the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and other regulators are investigating the exchange for mishandling customer funds, among other charges.
Jeremy Hogan, a partner at Hogan & Hogan, told Waters:
You, as the chairwoman (or the Committee itself), can just subpoena him to testify. No need to ask nicely on Twitter. It’s House Rule XI clause 2(m). But I’m sure you already knew that.
Bankman-Fried was the second-largest donor to the Democratic Party during the 2021-22 election cycle. According to Opensecrets, he donated $39,884,256 to Democrats before FTX imploded and had to file for bankruptcy. However, Tesla CEO and Twitter chief Elon Musk believes that SBF’s actual support to Democrats was over $1 billion.
What do you think about the statement by Rep. Maxine Waters about Bankman-Fried and do you think she should lead the investigation into the collapse of FTX? Let us know in the comments section below.