Pressure Mounts on US Securities and Exchange Commission as Congressman Threatens Subpoena
Patrick McHenry, the head of the US House Financial Services Committee, is gearing up to exert significant pressure on the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The main reason for this push is related to documents concerning former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried. McHenry’s bold suggestion to potentially issue a subpoena against the SEC was revealed during a September 27 hearing focused on commission oversight.
McHenry argues that SEC Chairman Gary Gensler has attempted to stifle the burgeoning digital asset ecosystem while evading transparency regarding the SEC’s discussions with FTX and Sam Bankman-Fried. The House Committee’s insistence on clarity is underscored by their repeated requests for information detailing the circumstances leading to SBF’s arrest, especially given his scheduled testimony before Congress.
The Congress’s Patience Wears Thin in the Face of Obstruction
The showdown began in February when the House Committee, under McHenry’s leadership, sought to obtain transcripts of communications between the SEC and the Department of Justice. The focus was on the charges brought against Sam Bankman-Fried. After an initial request, McHenry renewed his demand in April and May, faced with the unsatisfactory realization that the SEC had only provided easily accessible content to the public.
Venturing into the realm of digital assets, Gary Gensler, when questioned by McHenry, confirmed his position on Bitcoin, reflecting his 2018 perspective during his tenure at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology: Bitcoin does not meet the criteria of a security according to the Howey Test. However, he has not been able to assert that the flagship cryptocurrency falls under commodities.
Coinbase’s Stand with Crypto Logo Displayed During the Hearing
Someone in attendance took advantage of the cameras focused on Gary Gensler to display the Stand with Crypto logo, using their phone. This logo has been frequently worn by Coinbase since the start of their battle against the SEC.