U.S. Congressional Committee Chair Threatens SEC Chair with Subpoena

James Comer, Chair of the United States House of Representatives Oversight and Accountability Committee, has issued a stern warning to Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chair Gary Gensler. Comer, in a letter dated October 12, asserted that the committee will resort to compulsory measures, including a subpoena, if the SEC fails to cooperate by providing necessary documents.

Comer’s concerns extend beyond the crypto realm, focusing on SEC’s collaboration with the European Union regarding environmental, social, and governance (ESG) as well as climate-related matters. He accused the SEC of engaging in actions that bypass Congress, adversely affecting American taxpayers. This issue, while not directly related to cryptocurrency, echoes the sentiments expressed by crypto proponents in Congress who have criticized Gensler’s approach.

SEC Chair Lack of Cooperation a Key Issue

Back in June, Comer, along with Senator Tim Scott, had written to Gensler, seeking information about the U.S.-EU cooperation on climate legislation and its potential impact on U.S. companies. Similar inquiries were made to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. Comer expressed dissatisfaction with the SEC’s response, stating, “To date, the SEC has not produced documents that are substantively responsive,” pointing out that most documents provided were already public or released under the Freedom of Information Act.

This situation draws parallels to past incidents within the crypto space. Patrick McHenry’s letter on April 12, regarding the prosecution of former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried, raised similar concerns about document responsiveness. McHenry, too, had threatened Gensler with compulsory measures, highlighting the growing frustration within Congress regarding the SEC’s transparency.

Additionally, Comer’s questioning of the SEC’s authority mirrors concerns voiced by the crypto community. He emphasized the need to determine if legislation is necessary, referencing the Supreme Court’s West Virginia v. EPA ruling. This ruling, related to the major questions doctrine, could potentially influence the SEC’s actions within the cryptocurrency sphere.