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SEC Begs Court To Conceal Hinman Speech Documents in XRP Lawsuit. Here’s Why

As the biggest crypto lawsuit of the century, involving the United States Securities and Exchange Commission and Ripple Labs seems to be slowly winding down, the plaintiff (SEC) has recently solicited the Court, presided by Judge Analisa Torres to order that the critical Hinman Speech Documents be withheld from the public.

After several court orders and pressurizations from the case defendants Ripple, Brad Garlinghouse, and Chris Larsen, the Gary Gensler-led SEC finally released the drafts and emails related to the 2018 infamous speech made by William Bill Hinman, a one-time Director of Corporation Finance at the securities agency.

At the release of the Hinman Speech Documents, the SEC insisted that the San Francisco-based cross-border payment firm keep them confidential. To this end, Ripple has continued to keep these documents away from its community and the general public.

But in a Thursday letter filing, the SEC argued that it has not waived privilege, requesting that internal SEC documents and references to Hinman Speech documents in Ripple’s papers reflecting nonpublic deliberations by SEC officials be sealed.

As written in the sealing request motion, “the SEC produced these internal documents after this Court denied the SEC’s Objections to Magistrate Judge Netburn’s findings that these documents were not protected by the deliberative process or attorney-client privileges.

The SEC respectfully maintains that the Hinman Speech Documents are protected by these privileges. But if these documents were to become part of the public record, the SEC would be foreclosed from making any such argument in the future (on appeal in this litigation or in other litigation), which would be highly prejudicial to the SEC.”

Related: Defense Lawyer Says SEC May Ask the Judge to “Stay the Judgment” If Ripple Wins. What Does This Mean? Details

XRP Community Lawyers Respond

This move by the U.S. regulatory body has increased the curiosity of the XRP community to know the content of the Hinman Speech Documents. Among those who responded to the SEC’s latest statements included Bill Morgan, a widely-followed lawyer, and XRP supporter.

In his words, “SEC is arguing that they haven’t waived privilege against the world because they handed them to Ripple as ordered but under the protective order w/o giving up appeal rights. I am not sure how the SEC argues it hasn’t waived privilege when the court found they’re not privileged.”

“On this court’s findings, there is no privilege to waive or not waive. I get the appeal point. If it can still appeal the issue of privilege is not finally resolved but once those appeal rights are exhausted how can it maintain the documents are privileged in another proceeding as a ground to seal them in this case? It is not a question of the value of the decision in this case as a precedent but a question of res judicata,” Morgan added.

Considering that the SEC also threatened an appeal of Judge Analisa Torres’ Summary Judgment in the process of making this Hinman speech documents sealing request, another XRP proponent, Simon J said, “So will Judge Analisa Torres succumb to the threat of an appeal by the SEC on her Summary Judgment ruling because they still want to cover up the Hinman emails?”

This tweet also came in response to Attorney Jeremy Hogan’s opinion on the Hinman-related documents sealing request from the SEC, where he stated that he is now more curious to read the documents.

Read Also: Here Are Upcoming Crucial Events and Dates in the XRP Lawsuit As Published By Attorney James K. Filan

Why the SEC Seeks To Seal Hinman Speech Document 

It is not strange that the SEC is pressing hard to keep Hinman’s speech documents concealed. Notably, it took about 18 months and six court orders before these drafts and internal emails were released to Ripple as stated by Ripple General Counsel Stuart Alderoty.


The SEC perceives that the content of the documents in question will not only negatively affect its case against Ripple but will greatly thwart the agency’s move to achieve a crypto regulation through enforcement. It bears mentioning that in the 2018 speech made by William Hinman, the ex-SEC senior officer stated that Ether (ETH) is not a security.

Ripple argues that the XRP Ledger native token and many other altcoins possess several characteristics with the second-largest crypto, Ethereum. Therefore, the SEC attacking only XRP has been a common topic in the crypto community. Regardless, many crypto proponents and U.S. attorneys including John Deaton as well as Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse, firmly believe the final ruling in the ongoing Ripple Labs vs SEC lawsuit will not be the same as the LBRY-SEC case.

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Ndianabasi Tom
Ndianabasi Tom
Ndianabasi Tom joined the crypto and blockchain industry in late 2018. He is an all-rounded crypto journalist and content writer. At TimesTabloid, he covers the industry's latest news, developments, and other educational content. He is a graduate of Petroleum Engineering.

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