In a column published in the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday, Commissioner Christine Wilson of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) declared her resignation. Wilson stated that her decision was prompted by her objection to what she sees as the Biden-appointed Chair Lina Khan’s “government power abuses.” Since assuming her position in June 2021, Khan has been at the center of controversy, with Republicans expressing concern about her alleged exclusion of Republican colleagues from certain aspects of antitrust enforcement. Wilson was among those who disagreed with Khan’s approach and testified before the Senate in September 2021, accusing her of undermining “the FTC’s longstanding, bipartisan tradition.”
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
In the Wall Street Journal article, Wilson claimed that Khan had amassed authority in the Chairman’s Office with the assistance of “senior FTC officials.” To illustrate her point, Wilson referenced Khan’s actions in the FTC’s opposition to Meta’s purchase of the virtual reality gaming firm Within. Wilson highlighted that Khan had previously advocated for Meta to be prevented from making any further acquisitions and even prepared a congressional report on the same subject. Despite obligations regarding federal ethics and due process, Wilson indicated that her Democratic counterparts on the commission supported Khan’s choice not to recuse herself.
According to Wilson, the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey revealed that in 2020, 87% of FTC employees who participated in the survey “agreed that senior agency officials maintain a high level of honesty and integrity” under Trump appointees, while only 49% expressed the same sentiment today. Wilson mentioned that the employees’ unease is not so much with Khan’s policies as it is with the methods she employs to execute her agenda. Wilson concluded by stating that, while she does not agree with Khan’s policy objectives, her primary concern regarding her leadership of the commission is Khan’s deliberate disregard for legally imposed restrictions on agency jurisdiction, her flouting of legal precedents, and her exploitation of power to attain desired results.
After Wilson announced her resignation, the FTC issued a statement expressing that despite frequently disagreeing with her, they held a deep respect for her commitment to her convictions and appreciated her service to the public. The commission conveyed their good wishes to Wilson as she moved on to her next endeavor.
Christine Wilson’s departure from the FTC underscores her unwavering dedication to upholding ethical principles and safeguarding the agency’s integrity. Wilson’s resignation was prompted by her opposition to Chair Lina Khan’s antitrust enforcement strategy, which she regards as a violation of legal precedent and an abuse of power. Notwithstanding their differences, the FTC acknowledged their admiration for Wilson’s convictions and expressed appreciation for her public service. It remains to be seen how Wilson’s resignation will impact the FTC’s future and influence the agency’s approach to antitrust enforcement.
The preceding article is a summary of an article that originally appeared on The Daily Caller