Republican FTC commissioner quits over 'abuse' of liberal chairwoman

 February 15, 2023

The only Republican member of the Federal Trade Commission is quitting he role in protest of the "abuse" of the agency's far-left chairwoman.

Republican Christine Wilson authored an op-ed explaining her decision that accused chairwoman Lina Khan of "disregard for the rule of law and due process.”

Biden's "abusive" FTC chair

Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Wilson accused Khan of an ideological takeover of the agency that has pushed legal limits.

“Abuse of regulatory authority now substitutes for unfulfilled legislative desires,” Wilson wrote.

Khan should have recused herself from a failed effort by the FTC to block Meta from acquiring virtual-reality gaming company Within, Wilson said, saying Khan is biased. Before joining the agency, Khan argued that Meta should not be able to make acquisitions.

"She would now sit as a purportedly impartial judge and decide whether Meta can acquire Within," Wilson wrote.

Regulatory overreach

Appointed by President Biden, 33-year-old Khan is known for a liberal approach to anti-trust enforcement that has drawn criticism for regulatory overreach.

Wilson, a Trump appointee, also called out Khan's controversial push for a nationwide ban on non-compete agreements.

That proposal has drawn scrutiny from House Republicans. Judiciary chairman Jim Jordan (Oh.) sent Khan a letter denouncing the "power grab."

"This power grab is just the latest example of the Biden FTC straying from the Commission’s mandate in its eagerness to centrally plan the American economy to meet a preferred social agenda,” Judiciary panel chairman Jim Jordan (Oh.) wrote in a letter to Khan.

Biden official responds

In her op-ed, Wilson said she failed 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.”

Wilson's departure leaves the five-member commission with two open seats. Only three commissioners can be of the same party at a time, however, so Biden won't be allowed to appoint any more Democrats beyond the three currently serving.

Khan, and her fellow FTC bureaucrats Rebecca K. Slaughter and Alvaro Bedoy -- both Democrats -- issued a statement wishing Wilson all the best in her next chapter.

"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."

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