After hitting face first in the DPP dispute, the SEC has continued to assert its “privileged documents” stance. The latest development in the XRP lawsuit saw the SEC submit a redacted version of the three additional documents requested by Ripple for in-camera review on the public docket. The commission also submitted an explanation for its privilege assertions for all those documents that the plaintiff had either redacted or withheld by logging them as “privileged”.
SEC asserts protection under DPP and irrelevance of documents
The SEC has reinstated its “privileged” stance, noting that the documents are pre-decisional and deliberative, and therefore protected by the deliberative process privilege. The plaintiff claimed that the court should not be disarming the SEC’s privilege because the additional documents along with SEC’s September 14 documents that the commission filed under Appendix A are both protected under DPP, and discovery will further discourage government employees from genuine deliberations regarding crypto regulations. Additionally, the commission asserts that the documents are also irrelevant to both, SEC’s claims, and defendants’ objections.
“The documents on Appendix A, the Additional Documents are protected by the DPP, and the compelled release of these documents would discourage meaningful deliberations among SEC staff relating to regulatory activities in the digital asset space. Moreover, like the Appendix A documents, the Additional Documents are wholly irrelevant to the SEC’s claims or the Defendants’ proposed defenses…None of these documents even comes close to addressing whether Defendants’ offerings of XRP are securities transactions. The Court should not pierce the SEC’s privilege under these circumstances.”
Earlier this month the Court granted Ripple’s September 24 appeal, seeking the addition of three documents by the SEC for in-camera review. These documents include the two documents related to the SEC’s meetings with law firms, along the email trail concerning discussions with a third party who received guidance from the SEC to analyze its digital asset under the framework set forth in Hinman’s June 14, 2018, speech.
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