Tester Demands Equifax CEO Appear Before Congress Despite Resignation

Senator: His Resignation is Less About Spending Time with Family, More About Not Spending Time with Us

(U.S. Senate)-U.S. Senator Jon Tester is demanding accountability from former Equifax CEO Richard Smith after the company’s data breach put the identity of 367,000 Montanans at risk.

Despite Smith’s resignation earlier today, Tester still wants to haul the former Equifax CEO in front of the Senate Banking Committee for questioning next week to hold him accountable for the data breach and get answers for the thousands of Montanans who have had their data compromised.

“Despite Richard Smith’s resignation today, he ought to still come before us next week to face the music and give Montanans the answers they deserve,” Tester said. “I think his resignation is less about spending time with his family and more about not spending time with us.”

Tester grilled U.S. Securities and Exchange (SEC) Commissioner Jay Clayton during a Senate Banking Committee hearing today about Equifax’s actions following the data breach. Tester specifically asked Clayton why it took Equifax more than six weeks to disclose the hack that compromised the personal information of up 143 million Americans.

Tester secured assurance from Clayton that the SEC will hold Equifax executives accountable for any wrongdoing, regardless of whether they are still employed by the company. The U.S. Justice Department has also opened a criminal investigation into Equifax after the company’s top officials sold stock during the six-weeks before the public disclosure.

Tester partnered with Montana Attorney General Tim Fox last week to provide instructions to Montanans who may have had their data compromised in the Equifax breach.

Former Equifax CEO Richard Smith was scheduled to appear before the Senate Banking Committee next week. Now that his resignation is public, it’s unclear if he will still appear.