In a surprising turn of events, Binance, facing a lawsuit from the SEC, revealed that Gary Gensler, the current SEC Chair, had once offered to serve as an advisor to the exchange.

Lawyers representing Binance made this assertion during a meeting with SEC officials on June 4, highlighting the potential conflict of interest and calling for Gensler’s recusal from the case.

According to Binance’s counsel, an in-person lunch meeting took place between Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao and Gensler in March 2019, during which they discussed topics like Binance’s native token, BNB, and the exchange’s plans to enter the U.S. market.

The lawyers claim that Gensler, at the time, expressed his willingness to act as an informal advisor, a fact acknowledged by Zhao.

The letter shared by the SEC in a court filing further stated that Gensler had forwarded his planned statement for a testimony before the House Financial Services Committee to Zhao, seeking advice.

Binance’s legal team argues that this historical connection and the potential for Gensler to be a material fact witness necessitate his recusal from the case.

Binance’s lawyers emphasized that the SEC has yet to confirm whether Gensler has recused himself, raising questions about the commission’s explanation for his potential involvement.

Additionally, the lawyers referred to a Wall Street Journal report from March, indicating that multiple private firms, including Binance, approached Gensler for advisory roles, but now claim that it was Gensler himself who pitched the idea to Binance.

The SEC recently filed for a temporary restraining order to freeze all assets on Binance.US shortly after launching the lawsuit against Binance. The case is scheduled to resume on June 13, where discussions regarding the order will continue.