The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has challenged the court’s decision to provide Ripple with the materials of the speech of the former SEC chief financial officer on the status of ETH.
In January, Judge Sarah Netburn of the District Court for the Southern District of New York ordered that the regulator hand over materials from former SEC CFO William Hinman to Ripple. In 2018, he stated that ether is not a security, but rather a commodity. Hinman’s speech can make a big difference in the outcome of a case. Ripple management believes that XRP should also be considered a commodity, and charges should be dropped from the company.
However, the SEC did not agree with the judge’s order to release the recordings of Hinman’s speech, and sent the court to objection. The department claims that this speech has nothing to do with the lawsuit. Materials related to speeches by SEC employees are considered internal documents that should not be disclosed, the agency explained.
The regulator also notes that the draft speech was preliminary and required legal advice. Therefore, the privilege of the deliberative process extends to the materials of the speech, even if these documents may be relevant. The SEC once again added that Hinman expressed his personal opinion on Ethereum, and not the Commission’s official view on crypto assets.
It is worth noting that during the March hearing in the SEC and Ripple case, Judge Netburn said that XRP has the characteristics of a currency, not a security. Thus, she encouraged Ripple executives in the successful completion of the trial. However, Garlinghouse has a fallback option – in case of losing the lawsuit, the company will simply move to another jurisdiction.
Recall that the SEC proceedings with Ripple began at the end of 2020. The agency accused company executives Brad Garlinghouse and Chris Larsen of organizing an illegal ICO that violates the US Securities Act.
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