In a victory for Ripple Labs Inc., U.S. Magistrate Sarah Netburn has ordered the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) to release documents related to a 2018 speech by former SEC director William Hinman, in which he suggested that Ether (ETH) and Bitcoin (BTC) were not securities.
In its court battle with the distributed ledger tech company, the SEC has been refusing to do so by pleading deliberative process privilege on any emails or communications related to the speech. The SEC has also claimed attorney-client privilege regarding the draft of the speech while arguing that Hinman’s comments reflected his personal views on crypto rather than the agency’s wide-policy.
In denying the SEC’s motion on Tuesday, the judge blasted the agency’s repeated refusal as “hypocrisy.”
“The hypocrisy in arguing to the court, on the one hand, that the speech is not relevant to the market’s understanding of how or whether the SEC will regulate cryptocurrency, and on the other hand, that Hinman sought and obtained legal advice from SEC counsel in drafting his speech, suggests that the SEC is adopting its litigation positions to further its desired goal, and not out of a faithful allegiance to the law,” Netburn wrote.
Attorney Jeremy Hogan took to Tweeter- stating that “[t]his was not even a nuanced opinion. Judge Netburn tore apart every SEC argument for attorney-client privilege of the Hinman emails.”
This was not even a nuanced opinion. Judge Netburn tore apart every SEC argument for attorney-client privilege of the Hinman emails.
That starts the 14 day clock for an appeal to Judge Torres. And if her recent Orders are any precedent, things will move relatively fast. https://t.co/7k6KJx4Lea
— Jeremy Hogan (@attorneyjeremy1) July 12, 2022
Judge Netburn’s motion ruling is a major coup for Ripple as the draft of the Hinman speech provides strong evidence that the former SEC director was not impartial when it came to XRP having a similar regulatory status as ETH and BTC.
The SEC has been investigating Ripple for over two years now, and the company is yet to be charged with any wrongdoing. Despite this, Ripple is forging ahead with new partnerships and developments.
As of press time, XRP is changing hands at $0.3172, up about 1.30%. The $15 billion market cap altcoin traded in a range of $0.3043 – $0.3205, indicating some volatility over the last 24 hours.
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I’m waiting for the WSJ to cover in detail the implications of corruption within the SEC and calls out DC for the deafening silence on the battle for the future of digital assets. Will the powerful and corrupt establishment control our monetary system or will the inventors of the proven best decentralized system be allowed to assume its rightful position on an even playing field. Ripple Labs, under years of SEC consult, has created the best platform for handling huge transactions in any countries currency in seconds, for pennies and with transparency.
SEC is trying to give unfair advantage to unworthy competitors (Hinman speach). And by taking Ripple Labs to court on Hinmans last day they damaged the citizens they are paid to protect. CONSPIRATORS MUST BE HELD ACCOUTABLE! And be on notice that we expect the WSJ to inform those of us who depend on its coverage to detail what is at stake on the FRONT PAGE every day until appropriate!!