Attorney and XRP supporter John Deaton thinks the public will eventually get to see the much-discussed “Hinman emails.”
The documents have been one of the most contentious issues in the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) lawsuit against San Francisco payments company Ripple.
They contain internal SEC deliberations about a speech delivered by former SEC official William Hinman in 2018 when he stated in his official capacity that he believed both Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) are not securities.
Ripple says the documents are highly relevant and could reveal why the SEC has appeared to pick winners and losers in the crypto industry by declaring some crypto assets as securities and not others.
The SEC had repeatedly tried to keep the Hinman documents out of the courtroom, but once District Judge Analisa Torres ruled they must be turned over, the SEC later filed a motion in December to keep some of the contents sealed from public view.
Deaton predicts that the documents will be made public “at some point” regardless of Judge Torres’ decision on the SEC’s sealing request.
“If Judge Torres cites to or relies on the emails/drafts in making her decision, I am 75% sure that she will declare them ‘judicial documents’ and order that they be unsealed (but with limited redactions). But even if she doesn’t, the emails and drafts are going to be made public.
Why am I so confident? There will be more enforcement actions filed, including against Coinbase, Kraken, and Binance.US, [in my opinion]. I predicted the exchanges would be sued for selling securities last year. I still believe it’s coming. But even before that, other litigation is ongoing.
Dragonchain was sued and is in active litigation. DRGN is an ERC-20 token governed by the Ethereum Blockchain. You don’t think they will seek to get these emails and drafts to help with their defense? There are orders already in place that have denied any privilege claims…
If you have an ERC-20 token, governed by the Ethereum Blockchain, like DRGN, you want those emails. It is actually more relevant to your defense than Ripple’s defense. If you’re an exchange being sued, you will [100%] request these emails.”
The SEC sued Ripple in late 2020 for allegedly selling XRP as an unregistered security.
Deaton has played an active role in the lawsuit, filing an amicus brief on behalf of XRP supporters in opposition to the regulator’s motion for summary judgment.
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