Coin Center has responded to the letter it received from United States Senator Elizabeth Warren criticizing its practice of hiring former government officials. “We politely decline to offer further answers to your questions,” Coin Center director Jeremy Brito said.

Warren sent letters to Coinbase, the Blockchain Association and Coin Center on Dec. 18, after Politico ran an article that claimed the cryptocurrency exchange was hiring “a small army” of former government and law enforcement officials to represent its interests. Warren called the practice of hiring former officials “appalling,” and said those officials “work on your behalf to undermine bipartisan efforts in Congress and the Biden Administration to address the role of cryptocurrency in financing Hamas and other terrorist organizations.”

Sen. Warren’s Dec. 18 letter to Coin Center. Source: Jerry Brito, X (formerly Twitter)

Warren went on to acknowledge that the hiring practices she was referring to were perfectly legal:

“[Such hiring] also reveals significant gaps in the nation’s ethics laws. These gaps allow former government officials — including former national security officials — to leave their positions in the public trust and almost immediately cash in and go to work as lobbyists or advisers for private-sector industries with a keen interest in federal policy.”

Brito called the letter a “bullying publicity stunt” when it was received. Like Coinbase and the Blockchain Association, which responded earlier, Coin Center declined to answer Warren’s questions about the organization’s hiring policies.

Related: Tornado Cash indictment fails to show ‘clear violation’ of certain laws: Coin Center

In his letter, Brito pointed to the crypto-industry advocacy group’s constitutional rights. “We have no obligation to answer these questions beyond the public disclosures we make under the law,” Brito wrote, adding:

“Our constitutional republic depends on our mutual adherence to the rule of law, but also on long-standing norms of civility, respectful debate, and compromise.”

The crypto industry has criticized Warren and co-sponsor of the Digital Asset Anti-Money Laundering Act Sen. Roger Marshall for seeking the assistance of the American Bankers Association lobbying group to draft the act. That legislation is one of the two bipartisan bills Warren claimed the addresses of her letters were undermining.

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