The SEC has filed to seal certain critical documents relating to its lawsuit against the San Francisco payments company Ripple and its cryptocurrency XRP.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) requested to seal documents that contain internal SEC deliberations and notes about a speech delivered by former SEC official William Hinman back in 2018. During that speech Hinman stated in his official capacity that he believed that both Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) are not securities.
The SEC has argued that “The clear lack of relevance of these documents to the summary judgment motions should be weighed against the impact that release of the documents would have on the SEC’s ongoing deliberations on a wide variety of issues if these documents were made public. The Hinman Speech Documents reflect internal discussions and deliberations by numerous SEC officials.
Regardless of whether these documents reflect agency deliberations that should be protected by the deliberative process privilege, they unquestionably reflect confidential deliberations. SEC officials repeatedly express their views and positions on issues of programmatic significance to the SEC. The ability of agency officials to debate and collaborate with openness and candor would be hampered by the public dissemination of these documents.”
In a previous ruling back in September, Judge Analisa Torres had ordered the SEC to release the Hinman files related to this speech which the SEC has fought not to release.
Ripple (XRP) lawyers argue that the Hinman files are relevant and may even reveal why the SEC has picked winners and losers in the crypto space by stating some are securities while others are not.
The SEC sued Ripple in December of 2020, alleging Ripple illegally sold the XRP token as an unregistered security for years, and that XRP remains a security currently.