SEC v. Ripple: William Hinman deposition cannot be accessed, for now
William Hinman’s testimony is likely to become public in waves, ultimately being filed in its entirety at some point, with some exceptions under seal.
The importance of William Hinman’s deposition to the SEC v. Ripple lawsuit is yet to be determined, but his role in the SEC’s digital asset guidance – including a 2018 speech in which he states Ether is not a security – is driving the industry and the market’s attention toward the testimony.
The deposition of the former SEC Director of Corporation Finance has taken place yesterday, July 27, but since it was not a public hearing it couldn’t be accessed by the public at the time, unlike other hearings in this lawsuit.
Jeremy Hogan, a popular attorney within the XRP community, clarified the situation and explained how William Hinman’s statements are likely to become public in waves, ultimately being filed in its entirety at some point, with some exceptions under seal.
“Hinman Deposition FAQ: 1. The deposition is not a public hearing – you can’t listen in. 2. A deposition is sworn testimony and can be used just like the deponent was in Court. 3. In this case, the deposition will be used in Ripple’s Motion for Summary Judgment on Fair Notice.
“4. You will see at least parts of the deposition in Ripple’s Motion or perhaps even in the individual Defendant’s briefs. 5. I would expect the complete transcript will be filed at some point – the transcript should not be under seal although parts of it might.”
Prior to the hearing, both parties had reached an agreement on how to approach the deposition without the SEC objecting to most of the Ripple Counsel questions. It remains to be seen whether that happened or not, but we will probably get an idea as soon as Ripple files its next Motion to the Court.
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The stiff resistance from the agency to this testimony has led many to suspect the SEC has something to hide (XRP Holders attorney John Deaton) and was desperate for the deposition not to go forward (attorney Jeremy Hogan).
Another recent Ripple win was the public statement from two of the five SEC Commissioners admitting to lack of clarity within the digital asset space.
The “gift from the heavens” was later “rebuked” by the SEC in its reply to a letter from the individual defendants Brad Galinghouse and Chris Larsen, who seek to dismiss the case against them.
Today, SEC Chair Gary Gensler is expected to reply to US Senator Warren’s letter requesting information about the regulator’s “authority to properly regulate cryptocurrency exchanges and to determine if Congress needs to act to ensure that the SEC has the proper authority to close existing gaps in regulation”.
That letter also sent shock waves of speculation regarding what could be deemed as an orchestrated powerplay to outflank the CFTC.