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Press Release Published: Jun 1, 2023

Comer Probes Federal Trade Commission Chair Khan’s Abuses of Power

WASHINGTON—House Committee on Oversight and Accountability Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.) is today opening an investigation into President Biden’s Federal Trade Commission (FTC) appointee Chair Lina Khan. FTC Commissioner Christine Wilson recently resigned from her role after concerns about the integrity of the FTC under Chair Khan’s leadership, citing abuses of power and disregard for the rule of law and federal ethics standards. In a letter to top officials at the FTC, Chairman Comer is requesting documents and communications to understand these allegations and Chair Khan’s actions in this role.

“The Committee on Oversight and Accountability is investigating matters raised by Commissioner Christine S. Wilson’s February 14, 2023, announcement of her unexpected resignation from the Federal Trade Commission (Commission or FTC). Commissioner Wilson declared her intent to resign over deep concerns that the Commission, under current Chair Lina M. Khan’s leadership, is abusing its power and disregarding the rule of law, due process, and federal ethics laws. We seek documents and information to shed light on Commissioner Wilson’s allegations and determine the extent to which the Commission has deviated from its mission to protect America’s consumers,” Chairman Comer wrote.

In an op-ed published in the Wall Street Journal in February 2023, Christine Wilson outlined reasons for her resignation from the FTC, citing Chair Lina Khan’s, “willful disregard of congressionally imposed limits on agency jurisdiction, her defiance of legal precedent, and her abuse of power to achieve desired outcomes.” Both Republican FTC Commissioners have now resigned under Chair Khan’s tenure. Former Commissioner Noah Phillips was the first to resign in October 2022. The Oversight Committee is investigating how numerous allegations of Chair Khan’s conduct could undermine consumers’ confidence in the role the FTC plays to protect the American marketplace.

“These matters raise questions whether the FTC under Chair Khan has become a rogue agency—particularly given Chair Khan’s drive at the beginning of her tenure to ‘bulldoz[e] procedural safeguards,’ ‘consolidate agency power,’ ‘unilaterally assert and expand regulatory authority,’ and ‘abandon bipartisan and open processes.’ We also are concerned whether departures from prior norms under Chair Khan are due to White House influence. President Biden, after all, called upon Chair Khan to play a leading role in implementation of his Executive Order 14036 on ‘Promoting Competition in the American Economy,’” Chairman Comer continued.

Read Chairman Comer’s letter here.