The answer to the question of whether embattled FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried will appear before two congressional committees next week is played out on Twitter.
In a morning post on Twitter on Friday, Mr Bankman-Fried said he will appear before the House Committee on Financial Services on Tuesday after days of dodging on the matter. The hearing will focus on the sudden collapse last month of FTX, the cryptocurrency exchange Mr Bankman-Fried founded, amid allegations of embezzling billions in client funds.
Bankman-Fried, 30, said in a post on Twitter that “there’s a limit to what I can say and I won’t be as helpful as I’d like.”
Since FTX and its affiliates filed for bankruptcy last month, Mr. Bankman-Fried has been confined to his residential complex in the Bahamas where FTX was located. He has given numerous media interviews, either in person in the Bahamas or via Zoom, to talk about the collapse of the once popular cryptocurrency trading platform.
It is unclear whether he will personally appear before the parliamentary committee.
Mr. Bankman-Fried declined a separate request from the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee to appear before senators the following day.
In a letter sent Wednesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee gave Mr. Bankman-Fried until 5 p.m. Thursday to respond to a request to testify next Wednesday. Committee leaders issued a statement on Thursday evening saying that Mr Bankman-Fried’s lawyer had failed to meet that deadline.
Senator Sherrod Brown, Democrat of Ohio and chairman of the committee, said in the letter to Mr. Bankman-Fried that if the cryptocurrency trader was not willing to talk to the committee, he was willing to issue a subpoena to testify against his testimony. to enforce.
A spokesperson for Mr Bankman-Fried and his lawyer Mark Cohen declined to comment beyond the Twitter post. Representatives from the Senate Judiciary Committee did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
For the past two weeks, Mr Bankman-Fried has been on a media tour of sorts, giving interviews to various news outlets and posting messages on Twitter. He has said repeatedly that he never intended to scam anyone, including FTX’s estimated one million customers.
Mr. Bankman-Fried has said he was not directly involved in trading decisions at Alameda Research, a hedge fund he co-founded and majority owned. Just prior to FTX’s bankruptcy filing, it was revealed that billions in client money on the exchange had apparently been transferred to Alameda.
With federal prosecutors and securities regulators investigating the collapse of FTX, the risks to Mr. Bankman-Fried much bigger when he testifies before a congressional committee than when he talks to the media. Statements he makes to a reporter do not carry the same legal weight as congressional testimony.
Mr. Bankman-Fried was active in politics and, according to Federal Election Commission records, had donated about $40 million to federal campaigns and committees that mostly supported Democrats.