SEC Tries to Seal Key Documents in XRP Suit Against Ripple
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has requested to seal important papers related to its action against Ripple, a San Francisco-based payments business.
In a lecture given in 2018, former SEC employee William Hinman said in his official role that Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) are not securities. Last week, the SEC filed a motion to seal papers including internal SEC discussions over Hinman’s remarks. James K. Filan, an attorney for the defence, was the first to release the court records exposing the motion.
Argue the SEC’s legal counsel, “The evident lack of relevance of these papers to the requests for summary judgement should be evaluated against the effect that revelation of the records would have on the SEC’s current deliberations on a broad range of issues if these documents were made public. The Hinman Speech Documents represent multiple SEC officials’ private conversations and considerations.
Whether these records represent agency discussions that should be protected by the deliberative process privilege, they undeniably represent secret deliberations. Officials of the SEC often share their perspectives and stances on subjects of programmatic concern with the SEC.
The release of these records to the public would impair the capacity of agency officials to discuss and work with transparency and honesty.
In September, District Judge Analisa Torres ordered the SEC to disclose the Hinman papers, which the SEC had repeatedly attempted to keep out of court.
Ripple claims that the records are very pertinent and may indicate why the SEC has looked to select winners and losers in the cryptocurrency business by designating certain crypto assets as securities and others as not being securities.
The SEC also asked the court last week to redact the names and other identifying information of its expert witnesses and select XRP investors who filed statements in support of its summary judgement petition.
In addition, the SEC suggested prohibiting the sharing of workers’ and other parties’ personal and financial information.
In December 2020, the SEC filed a lawsuit against Ripple, arguing that Ripple traded XRP unlawfully as an unregistered security for years and that XRP remains security to this day.