Senators ask U.S. Justice Dept to probe Binance statements to Congress

U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) attend a Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., April 18, 2023. REUTERS/Amanda Andrade-Rhoades/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Department of Justice should investigate whether cryptocurrency exchange Binance made false statements to Congress in a written response to lawmakers this year, two Democratic U.S. senators said in a letter released on Thursday.

"This is a serious matter," Senator Elizabeth Warren and Chris Van Hollen wrote in a letter to the Justice Department, saying a bipartisan group of lawmakers in March were seeking information from the industry as they weighed potential new laws.

"It appears that Binance and Binance.US undermined this important investigation and the legislative process by providing false and misleading information to Congress" in their reply to the information request, the senators said, adding: "The department should, in conjunction with the ongoing SEC complaint, conduct a rapid and thorough investigation of this matter."

U.S. financial regulators this week cracked down on the crypto industry with legal action against Binance, the world's largest cryptocurrency exchange, and cryptocurrency platform Coinbase.

Representatives for Binance did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the letter. Representatives for the Justice Department could not be immediately reached.

(Reporting by Susan Heavey and Manya Saini; editing by David Goodman and Jason Neely)

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