Ripple grows impatient: Wants controversial deposition for next week

Rick Steves

There may be added pressure on the lawsuit as Senator Warren implicitly delivered authority over to the SEC in a letter that requests a response by July 28.

Ripple Labs and its co-founders have re-noticed ex-SEC Director William Hinman’s deposition for July 19, 2021, according to a letter submitted to the court.

The Defendants are requesting Judge Sarah Netburn to deny the SEC’s Motion to Quash before then, so they can take his deposition that day.

The Securities and Exchange Commission has recently filed a reply in further support to its motion to quash the deposition as they insist there are no exceptional circumstances to call a former high-ranking government official to the court and even called Ripple’s arguments ironic.

“Defendants are left to argue that Director Hinman was not a high-ranking government official. This is ironic. Director Hinman is the SEC official whose personal opinions about Ether were viewed as “newsworthy” and, Defendants claim, caused a spike in the price of Ether and led to speculation about the future viability of the Howey standard and the legal status of XRP.

“Moreover, Defendants cannot point to a single case where the deposition of an SEC official of Director Hinman’s rank was allowed, nor can they distinguish the many cases where courts quashed the depositions of other similarly-ranked officials”, the letter continued, adding that defendants are thus asking the court to make new law only to ask him about external meetings and internal SEC deliberations that are privileged.

Ripple wants his deposition for his unique, first-hand knowledge relevant to the claims and defenses in the case, including a speech in which he clarifies the status of Ether and Bitcoin.

Although the US Securities and Exchange Commission insists that Mr. Hinman’s words were his own and did not represent the regulator’s policy on crypto, the SEC could feel enough heat to clarify Ether’s status, especially now that the upgrade, ETH2, eventually turning the lawsuit against Ethereum.

There is also mounting pressure coming from US Senator Elizabeth Warren, who requested a response from SEC Chair Gary Gensler by July 28, 2021. Her letter asks a number of questions regarding regulatory clarity on digital assets and implicitly offers the SEC wide authority over the asset class.

That didn’t sit well with many within the space, including influential names within the XRP community, who see it as an “orchestrated powerplay” by the SEC Chair, Senator Warren, and the SEC to outflank its sister regulator, the CFTC.

 

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