The only remaining Republican on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced her resignation on Tuesday.
In a blistering Wall Street Journal op-ed, Christine Wilson accused FTC Lina Kahn of abusing power and “undermining the commission structure that Congress wrote into law.”
“Much ink has been spilled about Lina Khan’s attempts to remake federal antitrust law as chairman of the Federal Trade Commission,” Wilson wrote. “I have failed repeatedly to persuade Ms. Khan and her enablers to do the right thing, and I refuse to give their endeavor any further hint of legitimacy by remaining.”
Since Ms. Khan’s confirmation in 2021, my staff and I have spent countless hours seeking to uncover her abuses of government power. That task has become increasingly difficult as she has consolidated power within the Office of the Chairman, breaking decades of bipartisan precedent and undermining the commission structure that Congress wrote into law. I have sought to provide transparency and facilitate accountability through speeches and statements, but I face constraints on the information I can disclose—many legitimate, but some manufactured by Ms. Khan and the Democratic majority to avoid embarrassment. -Christine Wilson via the WSJ
Wilson took specific umbrage at Kahn’s role in the FTCs recently failed attempt to prevent Meta from buying a California augmented reality company, ‘Within,’ claiming that Kahn’s refusal to recuse herself from all cases involving Meta was the reason it failed.
As the Epoch Times‘ Bill Pan notes,
Since President Joe Biden named Khan to the FTC in June 2021, Amazon and Meta have argued that she is too biased against them to properly handle their cases, citing Khan’s prior public statements and academic works as evidence.
“Before joining the FTC, Ms. Khan argued that Meta should be blocked from making any future acquisitions and wrote a report on the same issues as a congressional staffer,” Wilson said. “She would now sit as a purportedly impartial judge and decide whether Meta can acquire Within.”
“My Democratic colleagues on the commission affirmed Ms. Khan’s decision not to recuse herself,” she added.
Khan released a joint statement with FTC commissioners Rebecca K. Slaughter and Alvaro Bedoya on Tuesday addressing Wilson’s departure but didn’t respond to any criticism.
“While we often disagreed with Commissioner Wilson, we respect her devotion to her beliefs and are grateful for her public service. We wish her well in her next endeavor,” they said.
During his first term in the White House, President Donald Trump appointed three Republicans to the five-member agency: Joseph Simons, an antitrust lawyer; Noah Phillips, chief counsel for Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas); and Christine Wilson, a former Delta Air Lines executive. He also nominated consumer advocate Rohit Chopra to fill an open Democratic seat.
Simons stepped down from commission chair in January 2021. Chopra, in October 2021, left the agency to serve as the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Phillips resigned in October 2022.
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