SEC files brief on Hinman speech as XRP lawsuit drags on

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The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has fought back in its lawsuit against Ripple Labs with a reply brief in support of its objections to orders that asked the SEC to disclose drafts of a 2018 speech made by former SEC director William Hinman.

See related article: Judge grants Ripple’s request to review videos of SEC officials

Fast facts

  • The SEC filed the brief on Tuesday, arguing that the speech drafts “are not relevant to any claim or defense in this case” and, even if they were, these documents “are protected by the deliberative process privilege.”

  • The SEC said the speech documents are “predecisional” as they reflect personal opinions from SEC staff rather than the policy of the agency.

  • XRP, the native coin of the XRP Ledger created by Ripple Labs, traded up 4.9% over the past 24 hours at US$0.3896 at 12:30 p.m. in Hong Kong, according to data from CoinMarketCap.

  • The latest SEC brief comes after the agency on July 27 filed objections to Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn’s previous orders compelling the SEC to disclose internal Hinman speech drafts.

  • In a July 12 order, Judge Netburn denied the SEC’s attorney-client privilege claims.

  • In December 2020, the SEC filed a lawsuit against Ripple alleging that its sale of XRP was an unregistered securities offering worth over US$1.38 billion. The SEC also named Ripple’s executive chairman Chris Larsen and CEO Brad Garlinghouse as co-defendants for allegedly aiding and abetting Ripple’s violations.

  • Hinman’s speech has been a major point of argument between the SEC and Ripple as Ripple seeks to bolster its fair notice defense.

See related article: XRP trades down 3.5% after Ripple unlocks 1 billion tokens from escrow