Lawmakers subpoena Jon Corzine to testify about MF Global collapse

Former New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine has been subpoenaed by Congress to testify about the bankruptcy of MF Global, the financial firm he once ran.

The House Agriculture Committee agreed Friday to subpoena Corzine to appear before lawmakers and discuss what has become one of the nation's largest bankruptcies in history, and what happened to more than a billion dollars in customer funds that cannot be found.

"His testimony is essential to fulfill our objectives of our constituents," said Chairman Frank Lucas (R-Okla.). The subpoena was approved by a voice vote.

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Lucas added that the move was necessary because Corzine had yet to say whether he would voluntarily appear before Congress Thursday for a hearing devoted to the collapse.

The demand comes as the bankruptcy has come under intense scrutiny by lawmakers, who are asking hard questions both about the bankruptcy and how regulators failed to detect potential dangers and prevent it.

Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Chairman Gary Gensler fielded multiple questions on the issue Thursday before the Senate Agriculture Committee, including several targeted at his decision to recuse himself from the matter. 

Gensler opted to remove himself from MF Global-related matters shortly after the bankruptcy, as he had previously worked with Corzine both at Goldman Sachs and also on the Senate Banking Committee when Corzine was a senator and Gensler a high-level staffer.