Sam Bankman-Fried, according to Victor Davis Hanson, “may have robbed perhaps a million investors, and along with them hundreds of large institutional investors.” He “protected from federal securities regulators, had drained off, lost, hidden, or spent billions of dollars of other people’s money.” Now his dear friend Maxine Waters (D-Incitement), who was caught on video blowing him a kiss in December 2021, will be leading an investigation into his sleazy FTX Ponzi scheme as Chair of the House Financial Services Committee. Waters initially stepped on a rake when she said that she wouldn’t be subpoenaing her pal Sam, but the winsome congresswoman backtracked after a firestorm and insisted that it was a “lie” that she didn’t plan to subpoena him. So will she actually do so? That remains unclear.
CNBC reported Wednesday that Waters “told the panel’s Democrats she doesn’t plan to subpoena former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried to testify at a Dec. 13 hearing about the crypto exchange’s rapid demise, according to people with direct knowledge of the conversation.” She “informed committee members of her decision at a private meeting Tuesday with Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Gary Gensler on Capitol Hill, these people said, declining to be named in order to speak freely about the private discussion.”
This CNBC report came three days after Bankman-Fried tweeted coyly: “Rep. Waters, and the House Committee on Financial Services: Once I have finished learning and reviewing what happened, I would feel like it was my duty to appear before the committee and explain. I’m not sure that will happen by the 13th. But when it does, I will testify.” So apparently Waters was taking him at his word that he would appear before the committee voluntarily in due time, but this is a man who bilked as many as a million people out of billions of dollars; can he really be taken at his word at this point?
Waters’ reluctance to subpoena Bankman-Fried was all too predictable. After all, if Bankman-Fried testifies and actually tells all or even part of what he knows, a lot of House Democrats could be in hot water. Fox Business reported on November 16 that “Overall, in 2021 and 2022, Bankman-Fried donated approximately $38 million to various candidates and PACs, mainly giving his cash to Democratic candidates and left-wing groups, according to Federal Election Commission filings (FEC). The majority of his political givings, though, went to the Protect Our Future PAC, a group founded in January that is dedicated to boosting candidates committed to preventing future pandemics.” CNBC says that he “donated almost $40 million toward the 2022 congressional midterm elections, with much of it going to Democrats.” It’s only natural that the Democrats would want to protect a man who was for so many of them a generous benefactor.
The corruption and two-tier justice system was a bit more obvious here than it usually is, however, so Waters had to backtrack. But she didn’t do so all the way. She claimed that the CNBC story was a “lie,” but didn’t go so far as to say she would actually subpoena Bankman-Fried. Instead, she tweeted on Wednesday that “he has been requested to testify at the December 13th hearing. A subpoena is definitely on the table. Stay tuned.” Pressed again on this question on Thursday, Waters said: “We’ve made it clear that we want Sam at our hearing on Dec. 13. If he does not cooperate, then we are prepared to subpoena.” It doesn’t appear as if Bankman-Fried is willing to cooperate: according to Reuters, he “missed a Thursday evening deadline to respond to a Senate Banking Committee request to testify at a hearing, raising the possibility of a subpoena.”
So will Waters subpoena Bankman-Fried or not? The answer will likely be determined not by the interests of justice, but by the assessment of Democrat leaders as to how much damage Bankman-Fried’s testimony might do to them. They just secured an improbable and highly questionable victory in the midterms, and they can count on the establishment media to ignore and bury anything Bankman-Fried says that might be damaging to them, but there is still the possibility that the unvarnished truth could come out despite their best efforts. The smart money, therefore, is on Bankman-Fried not appearing, and the whole hearing on his dealings being an exercise in sweeping inconvenient facts under the rug. That’s justice for Democrats in America today.