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Ripple General Counsel Says SEC Officials are Bias In Their Treatment of Digital Assets

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Ripple’s Chief Legal Officer Stuart Alderoty called out SEC employees, saying they should be impartial like other federal agents. The council revealed that SEC employees favor some crypto assets over others.

Alderoty cited the federal law outlined in 5 CFR 2635.101(b) (14) that mandates SEC employees to act impartially or maintain an appearance of impartiality. 

The lawyer’s remark comes a few days after the public release of Hinman’s documents and speech, where he seemingly favored Ether by declaring it a non-security.

Hinman’s Document Suggests SEC Officials Favour Ether and Bitcoin

The recently redacted, now-infamous Hinman’s documents relate to former SEC director of corporation finance William Hinman’s June 2018 speech at the Yahoo Markets Summit. 

The redacted documents revealed a series of exchanges between Hinaman and other SEC officials, warning him that his speech would greatly confuse the market. 

The officials also questioned Hinman’s applications of the Howey Test (criteria for determining if an asset is a security) in Ether analysis. Hinman’s assertion that Ethereum, the second-largest cryptocurrency, is not a security raised questions in the crypto community. 

Stuart Aderoty, in his tweet, said: “The law asks: Would a reasonable person, knowing the facts, question the employee’s impartiality?”

Some questioned the former director’s motivation to deliver his so-called “Ether Speech” despite pullbacks from his colleagues. Many speculated that the documents expose a bias within the SEC favoring Bitcoin and Ethereum. 

Arguments Around Hinman’s Documents

In a recent talk show held CryptoLaw to discuss Hinman’s documents, Jeremy Hogan noted that Ripple could use the documents to its advantage in a jury trial. 

Hogan said Ripple could win the lawsuit if it presents its argument around the SEC’s internal confusion suggested by Hinman’s document.

While former SEC regional director, Marc Fagel, believes the emails tarnish Hinman’s character without any significant effect on the lawsuit, Hogan shared a different view. The lawyer believes utilizing the emails to its advantage could help Ripple succeed in its fair notice defense.

“I disagree a little bit with you, Marc, as far as how these emails could be used because, to me, I see a lot of fodder in here, at trial, if it does go to trial, maybe next year or maybe early 2025,” Hogan said.

In another tweet, Attorney Deaton shared snapshots of transcripts from Hinman’s testimony during a deposition held on July 27, 2027.  Deaton suggested that Hinman’s statement in his testimony was laughable to the point that Stuart Alderoty, present at the hearing, involuntarily spit out his coffee.

Again, Deaton also stated that the former SEC official lied under oath by denying that he communicated the substance of his 2018 remark with anyone before delivering the speech. 

According to Deaton, William Hinman met with Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin “to confirm his understanding of the Ethereum network” a few days before his speech. 

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