Rep. Patrick McHenry, the chair of the House Financial Services Committee, has suggested that he would issue a subpoena to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to collect records pertaining to Sam Bankman-Fried, the former CEO of FTX.
Rep. McHenry accused the SEC and its Chair of being untransparent in their interactions with Congress, particularly with reference to FTX and its previous CEO, during a hearing on SEC oversight that was held on September 27th.
McHenry claims that in regards to the date of Bankman-Fried’s arrest and his scheduled appearance before Congress, the SEC has disregarded many demands for documents.
McHenry expressed his growing impatience and stated that he did not want to be the first committee chair made to summon the SEC under subpoena.
McHenry’s committee asked the SEC to provide internal communications between the commission and the Department of Justice regarding the accusations against Bankman-Fried in February of this year.
According to McHenry, the Chair only received material that was available to the public, so in April and May, it made additional requests.
McHenry also questioned Chairsler regarding the status of Bitcoin (BTC), and Chairsler responded that it “does not meet the criteria of the Howey Test to be considered a security,” reiterating a position he had taken in 2018 while a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
The comments made by Rep. McHenry highlight the developing hostilities between the legislative and regulatory branches about the SEC’s lack of openness in its dealings with digital assets and particular cases like the one involving FTX. It remains to be seen if this disagreement will result in the historically rare action of a legislative subpoena against the SEC.
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