SEC v. Ripple: “SEC is desperate for this deposition not to go forward. Desperate”

Rick Steves

“Even thinking about appealing this Order suggests to me that the SEC is desperate for this Deposition not to go forward. Desperate”

SEC v. RIpple

Ripple has scored a major win yesterday, with the court ordering the deposition of ex-SEC Director William Hinman. The exceptional circumstances that allow for the deposition of a high-ranking officer are the uniqueness of the lawsuit and the extraordinary public interest.

On the side of the agency was a new counsel, Ms. Stewart, instead of Jorge Tenreiro, who has been leading the plaintiff’s arguments.

Ms. Stewart was the one who had to explain to the Judge why the SEC says privilege would be breached if the scheduled deposition is about a public speech based on William Hinman’s personal views and not on behalf of the SEC.

Privileged as “deliberative”, she answered, adding that the deliberative process privilege would be invoked if Hinman was deposed.

When Judge Sarah Netburn ruled to allow for the deposition on Monday, the SEC said it “would need time to evaluate that”.

“That can mean only one thing: absent an agreement between the parties, the SEC intends to appeal the ruling allowing the deposition to go forward. And it’s almost never done”, attorney Jeremy Hogan commented the hearing in a video.

“Even thinking about appealing this Order suggests to me that the SEC is desperate for this Deposition not to go forward. Desperate. Why exactly they are desperate I do not know. But there is something there that is not just “normal” bad for them but really really bad for them”.

Will Ripple be able to unearth it? “I don’t know the answer to that but what I do know is that this fight is far from over”, Mr. Hogan said, adding that soon we’ll be seeing this issue in front of the Judge.

In regard to the Judge’s ruling, XRP Holders’ lawyer John Deaton offered ten basic questions that don’t fall under the privilege argument, but a Special Master may still be required to rule on the potential stream of objections.

“The fight over the Hinman deposition has now just begun. It will be a heated “meet and confer” meeting I can promise you that.” The deposition should take place on Monday, July 19.

Prior to the hearing, Deaton explained what the public should know about William Hinman and his speech in 2018 that still raise questions regarding conflict of interest.

Deaton also puts into question the idea that Hinman’s speech was just a personal opinion and not policy, since he never personally corrected the record and even used the term “we” in a later interview.

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