Having been arrested the previous day in the Bahamas, the star of the show, Sam Bankman-Fried, was unable to attend Tuesday’s House Financial Services Committee hearing on the stunning collapse of FTX. But as they say, the show, presided over by the petulant and uber entitled committee chair, Rep. Maxine Waters, went on.
The congresswoman from California has grown accustomed to having her own way in the Democratic-controlled Congress and was clearly not pleased when Texas Rep. Lance Gooden, a Republican, challenged her authority. Waters tried to end the hearing before Gooden was allowed to question the witness, current FTX CEO John Ray III.
As Waters delivered her closing remarks, Gooden interrupted to remind her. “Chairwoman Waters, Chairwoman Waters, I’ve not had the opportunity to testify — or [rather] to question the witness.”
Waters stopped speaking as an aide whispered something into her ear, and unbelievably, she ignored Gooden and returned to her closing remarks.
Raising his voice, Gooden said, “Chairwoman Waters. Parliamentary inquiry. Are all members entitled to question witnesses?”
Following a brief back and forth, the obviously unhappy Waters allowed him five minutes to question Ray.
“Thank you, Madam Chair.”
In a sarcastic tone of voice, Waters replied, “You’re certainly welcome, sir.”
Lmfao Rep. Maxine Waters tried to end the FTX hearing before Rep. @Lancegooden got a chance to question the witnesses, who had to remind her that all the members of a committee are entitled to questions. pic.twitter.com/wYTxSsLVg3
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) December 13, 2022
The full hearing can be viewed in the video below.
This exchange raises the issue of why Waters had been so eager to end the hearing before Gooden could question the witness.
Perhaps it was because she and many other Democrats were the beneficiaries of Bankman-Fried’s largesse. Although the lion’s share of the party’s second largest donor’s contributions went to Senate Democrats, he had directed $300,000 to members of her committee, according to The Washington Free Beacon.
Last month, the Free Beacon reported, “Bankman-Fried and his co-founders at FTX contributed $300,351 to nine members of the House Financial Services Committee, according to Federal Election Commission records. Some of the largest contributions were to Democrats on the committee’s Digital Assets Working Group, which worked on regulation of the crypto industry.”
This might explain her apparent fondness for the disgraced crypto king. Earlier this month, Waters praised Bankman-Fried for his willingness to speak to the media about his company’s spectacular failure.
.@SBF_FTX, we appreciate that you’ve been candid in your discussions about what happened at #FTX. Your willingness to talk to the public will help the company’s customers, investors, and others. To that end, we would welcome your participation in our hearing on the 13th.
— Maxine Waters (@RepMaxineWaters) December 2, 2022
In the clip below, she appears to blow him a kiss.
CAUGHT: Maxine Waters appears to blow a kiss at FTX’s chief fraudster Sam Bankman-Fried at a Congressional hearing while the cameras were still rolling
She’s the one who’s supposed to grill SBF next month?
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) November 18, 2022
Fortunately, Water’s days as chair of the powerful committee are numbered. In a few short weeks, Democrats must hand the gavel back to the GOP and North Carolina Rep. Patrick McHenry will lead the committee.
Looks like the new boss is not the same as the old boss.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.