Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Commissioner Christine Wilson just surprised everyone by resigning from her office. She announced her leaving in a Wall Street Journal column where she said she refuses to give Biden-appointed FTC Chair Lina Khan’s “abuses of government power” legitimacy by staying with the agency.
Khan has continued to create controversy since she was appointed by Biden in 2021. GOP leaders were concerned about her alleged exclusion of Republican colleagues.
Wilson has a history of being critical of Khan’s leadership. She testified before the Senate in September of 2021 and accused her of tearing down “the FTC’s rich bipartisan tradition.”
In the WSJ article, Wilson wrote that standing up to Khan’s abuses became more difficult as she “consolidated power within the Office of the Chairman” and was enabled by “senior FTC officials.”
She used as an example Khan’s effort in the FTC’s challenge of Meta’s acquisition of virtual-reality gaming company Within.
“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,” she said. “She would now sit as a purportedly impartial judge and decide whether Meta can acquire Within. Spurning due-process considerations and federal ethics obligations, my Democratic colleagues on the commission affirmed Ms. Khan’s decision not to recuse herself,” Wilson wrote.
She summed up her rationale for resigning by writing, “My fundamental concern with her leadership of the commission pertains to her willful disregard of congressionally imposed limits on agency jurisdiction, her defiance of legal precedent, and her abuse of power to achieve desired outcomes.”
The FTC responded to Wilson’s resignation in a statement on Tuesday that said, “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.”
Statement of FTC Chair Lina M. Khan, Commissioner Rebecca K. Slaughter, and Commissioner Alvaro Bedoya on the resignation of Commissioner Christine Wilson: https://t.co/hZImLtNhNI pic.twitter.com/APdjrZZMCv
— FTC (@FTC) February 14, 2023