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SEC v. Ripple Legal Weeds: SEC caught erasing documents relevant to XRP lawsuit

Finance Feeds | Rick Steves | Aug 18 2021

Legal weeds - SEC v. Ripple Legal Weeds: SEC caught erasing documents relevant to XRP lawsuit

The transcript is included in the most recent SEC motion in regard to the privilege dispute between the agency and Ripple and individual defendants.

The SEC has filed its opposition to Ripple’s and the Individual Defendants’ Motion challenging the SEC’s improper assertion of the Deliberative Process and other privileges.

The agency’s response to the privilege dispute follows an extensive and frustrating back and forth between both parties as they don’t see eye to eye in terms of what constitutes privileged information.

See:  SEC v. Ripple: Implications of Ripple’s Fair Notice Defense

This has led Ripple’s lead counsel Matthew Solomon to send a letter to Judge Sarah Netburn and request her help in the discovery dispute. Fact discovery is coming to an end but many documents are yet to be delivered (lawsuit agenda).

In regard to the recently filed opposition to Ripple’s motion, the SEC argues the deliberative process privilege (DPP) is a critical governmental privilege designed to promote the quality of agency decisions by preserving and encouraging candid discussion between officials.

“The Court should not override that privilege and punish frank governmental deliberations, particularly where the internal pre-decisional, deliberative material Defendants seek, which they never saw or knew about, is not relevant to any claim or defense”.

“Defendants have already sought and obtained an extraordinary amount of discovery from the SEC. Yet, Defendants now claim that privileged, non-public SEC communications about the regulation of digital assets (not just XRP), are somehow so relevant that the SEC’s important deliberative privilege should be overridden”, the plaintiff argued.

“Meanwhile, Defendants have moved to strike on the record the most probative, relevant evidence they have obtained from their SEC discovery: former SEC Division of Corporation Finance Director William Hinman’s deposition testimony that he met with Ripple representatives and told them that he considered Ripple’s sales of XRP to be sales of securities and that Ripple should stop its unregistered sales”.

Ripple confronts SEC for deleting relevant information

The William Hinman deposition transcript seems to indicate that the SEC tried to delete subtopics relevant to the Ripple lawsuit. On page 254, Ripple counsel Reid Figel claimed “it was deleted” and pointed the finger at SEC Special Counsel Michael Seaman.

See:  Ripple Wins Access to SEC Internal Documents on Bitcoin, Ether, and Other Cryptocurrencies

“What’s the basis of that understanding, Reid?”, SEC lead counsel Jorge Tenreiro asked.

“Our review of the metadata. If you look to — depends on how you present it, but if you go to the second document, it says on some version of it deleted by Michael Seaman”, Mr. Reid replied.

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