SEC vs Ripple: Decoding SEC’s latest attempt to avoid submitting evidence in court

Judge Analisa Torres brought forward the SEC v Ripple calendar to expedite proceedings. The SEC has made several extensions to address one key issue that continues to weaken its case against Ripple. As new developments emerge, further delays could come into play.

But, there’s one thing that never really changed – SEC’s attempts to avoid submitting Hinman emails to the court.

Whatever it takes

In the latest attempt on 30 April, the regulatory board attempted to keep the emails related to its former head of Corporation Finance, Hinman, according to a corporate defense lawyer James K. Filan. The SEC has submitted a letter motion to keep the Hinman emails private from Ripple and the judge, citing the attorney-client privilege.

In the motion highlighted above, the SEC filed a letter motion to renew,

“its assertion that the attorney-client privilege protects internal documents related to a June 14, 2018 speech (“Speech”) delivered by Bill Hinman, the then Director of the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance.”

These so-called “privileges” still hold as these ‘documents, in whole or in part, reflected communications between Director Hinman and SEC attorneys’. Thereby requesting and providing legal advice about a matter under the SEC’s purview.

“When an offer or sale of a particular digital asset constitutes an investment contract. Thus a securities offering is defined in the federal securities laws. Correspondingly, what Director Hinman could say about this matter in the Speech.”

Finally, SEC lawyers requested permission to protect two additional comments in Hinman’s speech draft as discussed earlier in April.

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Needless to say, findings regarding the SEC and Ripple, the Hinman Speech could be decisive. In 2018, SEC Director Hinman said that Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) were not securities. Now, the ruling here on the letter motion could be a pivotal moment in the case.

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Lucky this time around? 

On 11 April, Judge Netburn denied an SEC motion for the courts to reconsider a ruling relating to the speech following a 13 January decision. Can the SEC turn things around this time? Or meet another roadblock?

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But moving on from the SEC’s roadblock to Ripple’s native token, XRP. The token suffered a fresh 5.9% correction as it traded at the $0.59 mark.

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