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Alex Dovbnya

Ripple wants to stop the SEC from withholding the draft of the infamous Ethereum speech

Ripple has asked the court to deny the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s request for an extension of time to file a motion for reconsideration of the recent deliberative process ruling.

The SEC asserts that the requested relief, if granted, won’t impact any existing deadlines. As reported by U.Today, the discovery deadline has been pushed to Feb. 18.  

Defendants, however, claim that they would be prejudiced by any further delay, accusing the plaintiff of adopting a “wait-and-see” approach in order to delay the production of documents that could potentially be central to the case.

On Jan. 13, Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn partially granted the defendants’ motion to compel the regulator to produce some documents that the SEC was withholding due to deliberative process privilege, which allows government officials not to produce pre-decisional records.

Among other documents, the SEC has been ordered to produce an internal e-mail that contains a draft of the now-infamous speech of former director William Hinman, in which he declared that Ethereum, the second-largest cryptocurrency, wasn’t a security.

Ripple has been crying foul at the lack of regulatory clarity since the start of its legal battle with the SEC, and it’s determined to find out why the regulator started “picking winners and losers.” Ripple started seeking documents related to Bitcoin and Ethereum shortly after it was hit with the lawsuit in December 2020, filing a  Freedom of Information request last January.    

In July, the defendants successfully forced Hinman to testify about the speech. The former SEC official stressed that the speech was merely his personal opinion that didn’t reflect the views of the agency.

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