As the XRP lawsuit between Ripple and the United States Securities and Exchange (SEC) intensifies, the regulator is putting in every effort to prevent the cross-border payment firm from using some of its documents in court.
In a recent filing, the SEC stated that it’s opposing the court’s order issued earlier this month to release the documents containing its former director William Hinman’s 2018 speech where he stated that Ethereum (ETH), the second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, is not a security.
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The US regulator claimed that the speech drafts shouldn’t be used in the case because they are confidential internal communications.
The filing reads in part:
“As internal communications that no market participant, including Defendants, has seen, the Speech Drafts are not relevant to any of the claims or defenses at issue in this case. Yet the Orders compel the SEC to disclose them.
“Even if they were relevant, the Speech Drafts contain confidential deliberations and legal advice protected by the deliberative process privilege (‘DPP’) and the attorney-client privilege.”
The SEC also emphasized in the filing that the speech was Hinman’s opinion about Ethereum (ETH). It says although the speech was developed as part of the SEC’s larger discussions about the applications of the securities laws to digital assets, it was not an SEC’s binding policy.
It can be recalled that in mid-July, Judge Sarah Netburn rejected the SEC’s attorney-client privilege claims, which represented a big win for Ripple and XRP community. The Judge issued an order that the speech drafts must be produced as evidence for Ripple in court.
The lawsuit was filed in December 2020 by the SEC against Ripple, the San Francisco-based cross-border payments firm, for selling XRP for many years as an unregistered security. The regulator also slammed two of Ripple’s top executives with a similar lawsuit.
According to the timeline of the lawsuit released a couple of weeks ago, the long-standing case is expected to end in March 2023.