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Former SEC chair details what to expect from Bankman-Fried’s December 13 Congress hearing

Former SEC chair details what to expect from Bankman-Fried's December 13 Congress hearing

Former Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) chair Jay Clayton has shared what is likely to happen when ex-FTX crypto exchange CEO Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) appears before Congress on December 13. 

Notably, after a series of media tours, SBF is expected to appear before Congress and answer lawmakers’ questions regarding FTX’s management and the subsequent collapse of the trading platform. 

According to Clayton, SBF is likely to extend his narrative of denying any wrongdoing as exhibited during recent media appearances while noting that more should be expected from the hearing, he said during an interview with CNBC on December 12. 

Need to remain authentic 

He noted that Bankman-Fried should expect different questions since members of Congress are not constrained to what they should ask. However, he warned that SBF should aim to be authentic because that’s the focus of Congress. According to Clayton:

“I think they will be more of the same, but then they will be more. There is a lot going on in these congressional hearings. People will be trying to get to the bottom of what happened. <…> But then there are a lot of other things members of Congress are not constrained in what they’re able to ask.”

He added: 

“We will see how he handles those questions under that kind of pressure. One of the things that makes you a good witness in front of Congress is whether you’re coming off as authentic or not, and that is actually a very important part of preparing for these types of hearings.”

Due to the legal consequences, Clayton pointed out there might be no room for SBF to commit perjury. 

The conduct of SBF in FTX collapse

On the conduct of SBF, the former SEC chair pointed out there is a ‘great deal of bad behavior’ in running a financial company. In this case, he highlighted that the United States laws are sufficient enough to deal with fraudulent activity. 

As reported by Finbold, SBF noted that he was willing to testify before Congress. However, he warned that he does not have sufficient information to explain what happened in relation to the FTX collapse. 

Notably, Bankman-Fried was pressured to appear before Congress by Maxine Waters, the chair of the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services. 

Indeed, Waters maintained that since SBF was on a media tour, he should appear before lawmakers to give his side of the story. 

In the meantime, Bankman-Fried maintains his innocence, stating that the collapse was due to the ‘massive correlation of things during a free market moves.’ He has also denied allegations of misappropriation of customer funds. 

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