XRP Lawsuit: Ripple could prove SEC lied about Hinman’s ‘personal opinions’

Rick Steves

“The SEC sent an email to a third party telling them to analyze a digital asset using the factors in the Hinman speech; which speech was just his personal opinion. I understand now – it’s the SEC that needs clarity!”, attorney Jeremy Hogan commented.

The SEC has opposed Ripple’s request to add three documents to the upcoming in-camera review to be conducted by Judge Sarah Netburn.

The agency stated those documents are not responsive to the Court’s prior orders, and the SEC placed the documents on a privilege log only in an (apparently futile) attempt to avoid disputes.

The plaintiff added that said documents “reflect deliberations by SEC staff, and have therefore been redacted or withheld pursuant to the deliberative privilege process”, according to the letter.

The SEC said there is “no need for the Court to review the three additional documents”, but if it finds appropriate to “pierce the privilege” and orders an in camera review, “the SEC respectfully requests that it be afforded the opportunity to make a submission explaining its privilege assertions for each of these documents, just as the Court did for the documents the SEC has already submitted in camera.

Documents may prove SEC’s Hinman 2018 speech was on behalf of agency, not a ‘personal opinion’

The SEC seems to have tried to keep the documents hidden from Ripple, but the team of lawyers detected the descriptions from the belatedly produced privilege log, which suggests they may be highly relevant to this case.

The documents include an email chain “concerning discussions with a third party whom Defendants understand received guidance from the SEC to analyze its digital asset under the framework set forth in Director William Hinman’s June 14, 2018 speech”.

The Defense team led by Matthew C. Solomon argued that the documents, based on the descriptions provided by the SEC, appeared to be most relevant to the claims and defenses in this case.

“The third is an email chain concerning discussions with a third party whom Defendants understand received guidance from the SEC to analyze its digital asset under the framework set forth in Director William Hinman’s June 14, 2018 speech. Had this privilege log been provided before Defendants filed its motion on August 10, 2021, Defendants would have included all three documents in Appendix A.

“Indeed, if the SEC had provided this privilege log any time in advance of the August 31 hearing, Defendants would have asked the Court to include these three documents in its in camera inspection. Instead, Defendants had to ask the SEC voluntarily to include the documents in its September 14 submission to the Court. The SEC filed its brief (ECF No. 355) without responding to this request.

“The next day, the SEC indicated that it would not submit these documents for the Court’s in camera review “absent a specific directive from the Court.”

Judge Sarah Netburn will soon be conducting the in-camera review of the SEC’s privilege log. It is not clear who the ‘third party’ mentioned in the log’s description is, but any guidance based on the framework set forth by William Hinman’s 2018 speech should be relevant.

Firstly, the document could explicitly prove Hinman’s speech was not merely a personal opinion, but the SEC’s official policy. This has been a key issue in the lawsuit.

“The SEC sent an email to a third party telling them to analyze a digital asset using the factors in the Hinman speech; which speech was just his personal opinion. I understand now – it’s the SEC that needs clarity!”, attorney Jeremy Hogan commented, pointing out the agency’s contradictions.

Secondly, the guidance provided to the ‘third party’ might also be relevant to show the SEC’s inconsistency in terms of regulatory clarity. This can be used to support Ripple’s fair notice defense, which claims the SEC failed to explain the firm and the broad digital asset space that XRP could be considered a security.

In the meantime, Ripple has just gained a heavy weight backer as the SEC v. Ripple could determine the future of the digital asset space. Former U.S. Treasurer Rosie Rios has come forth in defense of Ripple’s XRP currency value and utility via a simple tweet.

For more Ripple (XRP) related articles, click here.

    Read this next

    Digital Assets

    Celsius founder Mashinsky agrees to shared lawyers with Sam Bankman-Fried

    Former Celsius CEO Alex Mashinsky has addressed potential conflicts of interest in his legal representation during a brief hearing in a New York courtroom.

    Digital Assets

    Sam Bankman-Fried captured in first jail photo

    Sam Bankman-Fried, the once-billionaire founder of FTX, has been spotted looking quite different with a new beard and a slimmer figure in a photo that’s been making rounds, reportedly taken inside New York’s Metropolitan Detention Centre.

    Market News

    Bitcoin stalls at $53,000 level, Ethereum reaches $3,000

    Bitcoin (BTC) faced renewed resistance at the crucial $53,000 level on Tuesday, indicating that the primary cryptocurrency is likely to continue consolidating before making its next decisive move.

    Digital Assets

    UK targets new laws for stablecoins and crypto staking within six months

    The United Kingdom is gearing up to enact fresh legislation regulating stablecoins and crypto staking within the next six months.

    Web3

    Masa’s Milestones Before Mainnet Launch

    Since its launch in August 2022, Masa, the premier decentralized network for personal data, has experienced rapid growth, securing over 1.2 million unique wallets and accumulating more than 23 million data points. Despite a bear market, the network has attracted over 40,000 node operators to its testnet within just 18 months.

    Digital Assets

    Web3 Greatest Startup Competition Hits $10M in Prizes

    We’re thrilled to announce the return of the highly anticipated Startup Competition at Paris Blockchain Week. With a staggering array of prizes totaling over $10 million, encompassing funding, grants, credits, accelerations, listing, and more, this competition has become a cornerstone event within the blockchain startup ecosystem.  

    Digital Assets

    Hedge fund Tyr Capital faces dispute over exposure to FTX

    Crypto hedge fund Tyr Capital found itself embroiled in a dispute with one of its clients concerning its investment exposure to the bankrupt digital assets exchange FTX, as reported by the Financial Times on Tuesday.

    Retail FX

    Plus500 revenue down to $725 million, unveils $100M share buyback

    Israeli-based, but London-stock market listed Plus500 Ltd (LON:PLUS) today reported its 2023 results, which came “significantly ahead” of analysts’ estimates.

    Education

    Strategies for Profiting from Interest Rate Fluctuations

    The world of Forex trading is a complex and dynamic domain where interest rates play a pivotal role in shaping currency values. Octa’s team of financial experts delves into this intricate relationship, providing traders with a comprehensive understanding and strategies to harness economic indicators for enhanced trading performance.

    <