The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) attempt to seal records of internal documents connected to William Hinman’s speech has been denied, according to a May 16 court filing.
The motion was denied by Judge Analisa Torres, who ruled that “the Hinman Speech Documents are not protected by the deliberative process privilege because they do not relate to an agency position, decision, or policy.”
The SEC had argued that the documents should be sealed because of the “clear lack of relevance of these documents to the summary judgment motions” and because their disclosure “would be highly prejudicial” to the financial regulator.
However, Judge Torres disagreed with this argument, saying the documents are judicial documents subject to a strong presumption of public access because they are “relevant to the performance of the judicial function and useful in the judicial process.”
In a 2018 speech, the former SEC official said Ethereum (ETH) was not a security. The XRP community argued that the speech gave ETH a free pass over other digital assets in the industry and has become a major talking point in the ongoing lawsuit.
Meanwhile, this is not the first time Judge Torres has denied SEC’s attempt to seal the documents. Last year, she rejected the SEC’s request to seal the Hinman speech documents — ordering the regulator to produce the documents.
Ripple’s community welcomes news
Several XRP community members have welcomed the news, with many praising the judge for her judgment.
Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse described the judgment as another win for transparency. Garlinghouse added:
“Unredacted Hinman emails to be publicly available soon – stay tuned as the lawyers work through the mechanics to make that happen.”
Web3 lawyer Jeremy Hynes said the documents will “either show bad faith or just some embarrassing emails showing the nightmare state of confusion the SEC is in itself (Or both).”
Meanwhile, the judge also denied some of Ripple’s requests to seal all its financial statements and other documents. However, she granted the sealing of its most recent statements from 2020 till now.
XRP rises 7%
Following the news, Ripple XRP grew 7% in the last 24 hours to $0.4478 as of press time, according to CryptoSlate data.
The digital asset is the sixth-largest crypto asset by market cap and had a trading volume of $1.38 billion in the last 24 hours.
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