SEC will have to transfer one of the internal documents to Ripple

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Justice of the Peace Sarah Netburn ordered SEC send an email to Ripple with a draft speech by ex-director of corporate finance at the regulator, William Hinman, in which he stated that Ethereum is not a security. This was announced by attorney James Filan.

This is about Hinman’s talk at the Yahoo Finance conference in June 2018. Then the former official said that for various reasons, Bitcoin and Ethereum are not securities. He did not mention the XRP token.

Over the past few months, the SEC and Ripple have been in debate over what information should be disclosed in a lawsuit. The fintech company’s lawyers demanded a number of documents, including internal SEC messages on the content of speeches and other public communications.

Commission officials insisted that these documents were subject to deliberative process privilege (DPP). This is a principle of law that allows the regulator to refuse to disclose papers or testify, citing the confidentiality of data and sources.

In her ruling, Netburn agreed that some documents were indeed protected by the DPP. However, this principle cannot be applied to other recordings, such as the Hinman speech e-mail.

“If the personal views of agency staff do not affect ‘the formulation or exercise of policy-oriented judgments,’ they are not protected by the DPP. Accordingly, emails regarding a speech or its drafts do not precede decisions and are not advisory documents that are subject to protection, ”the judge ruled.

Netburn also ordered the SEC to provide Ripple with some of the recordings of meetings of the agency’s employees with third parties. For example, the company will have access to the transcript of a meeting of officials with representatives of ConsenSys in 2016.

Earlier, the founder of the law firm Deaton Law Firm, John Deaton, noted that in 2017, Hinman and ConsenSys CEO Joseph Lubin held a meeting that “did not concern the Ethereum ICO,” but became “the beginning of a very mutually beneficial” union “.

However, the regulator is not obliged to disclose documents related to legal analysis of XRP. The Commission also has the right to refuse to disclose records of meetings of employees with representatives of Ripple and interagency discussions.

In November 2021, Fox Business published a massive investigation into the SEC case against Ripple. According to journalists, the regulator’s employees behind the filing of the lawsuit could be affiliated with Ethereum.

In December, the human rights non-profit organization Empower Oversight demanded that the SEC disclose documents regarding a potential conflict of interest in the actions of former high-ranking officials.

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