Magistrate Netburn Grants SEC’s Request to Redact Two Drafts of Hinman’s Documents in Ripple Lawsuit

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The SEC can now redact two drafts of Hinman’s documents.

Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn has granted the SEC’s request to make redactions to two drafts of Bill Hinman’s 2018 speech. 

The development was shared by James K. Filan, a former U.S. federal prosecutor.

It can be recalled that in an October 21, 2022 filing, the SEC submitted in-camera two proposed redactions that it seeks to make to the documents. 

According to the SEC, the two proposed redactions contain discussions about pending matters involving the agency. 

“Pursuant to the court’s July 12, 2022 order, the SEC respectfully submits for in-camera review proposed redactions to two drafts of Director Bill Hinman’s June 2018 speech that discuss pending determinations before the commission,” the SEC said. 

After reviewing the proposed redactions, Magistrate Netburn granted the SEC’s request to redact the two drafts of Hinman’s 2018 speech. 

“Plaintiff’s application for leave to make the above-specified redactions is GRANTED. SO ORDERED,” Magistrate Netburn ruled. 

Hinman’s Involvement in Ripple vs. SEC Suit

Hinman was the SEC’s former director of Corporate Finance under the reign of Jay Clayton. He became famous in the cryptocurrency industry following his June 2018 controversial speech, in which he declared Ethereum as non-security because the cryptocurrency’s ledger became decentralized over the years. 

Moments after the SEC charged Ripple for offering unregistered security; the blockchain company requested that the agency surrender the drafts of Hinman’s 2018 controversial speech. 

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SEC Surrenders Hinman’s Documents

However, the SEC was not prepared to let go to the extent that it took significant steps to stop Ripple from laying its hands on the drafts. Interestingly, after spending 18 months fighting six separate bench orders, the SEC finally handed over the documents to Ripple. The internal emails and drafts behind Hinman’s speech are still sealed. Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse commented on the development, saying:  

The SEC wants you to think that it cares about disclosure, transparency, and clarity. Don’t believe them. When the truth eventually comes out, the shamefulness of their behavior here will shock you.” 

Less than two weeks after surrendering the document, the SEC got its wish to redact two of the drafts. 

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