- US Senator Cynthia Lummis asks the Department of Justice (DOJ) to criminally charge crypto exchange Binance and USDT issuer Tether.
- Lummis cites the two companies’ role in aiding illicit fundraising for terror.
- Blockchain security and analytics firm Elliptic says a WSJ report “misrepresented” data.
Senator Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), notes in a post on X today that she had sent a letter to the DOJ with a view of having the Justice Department charge the two crypto companies for being “intermediaries” in reported illicit financing of Hamas.
When it comes to illicit finance, crypto is not the enemy – bad actors are.
I sent a letter asking DOJ to finish its investigation and consider criminal charges against Binance and Tether after reports they served as intermediaries for Hamas and engaged in illicit activities. pic.twitter.com/M3KGNFkpWc
— Senator Cynthia Lummis (@SenLummis) October 26, 2023
The letter, co-signed by Representative French Hill, Chair Subcommittee, House Financial Services, is part of a wider reaction to a recent Wall Street Journal report. The allegations in the report saw several lawmakers believe Hamas had raised millions of dollars in crypto funding before its attacks on Israel earlier this month.
But as blockchain analytics firm Elliptic noted in a blog post published on October 25, “there is no evidence to suggest that crypto fundraising” had resulted in the more than $130 million raised cited in the Wall Street Journal article.
Elliptic said its data and that from other platforms “has been misinterpreted.” Brian Armstrong, co-founder and CEO of Coinbase, wondered if the WSJ would issue a retraction or correction.
This is crazy – an inaccurate WSJ article (citing evidence from Elliptic) caused 20% of congress to sign a letter. Elliptic has now refuted the evidence in the WSJ article.@WSJ will you issue a retraction/correction? https://t.co/Sw2etO9oRT
— Brian Armstrong 🛡️ (@brian_armstrong) October 26, 2023