Deaton said if the SEC Ethics office approved Hinman’s speech, we would have heard about it long ago.
CryptoLaw founder attorney John Deaton has made new comments regarding the controversial speech by William Hinman, former director of SEC’s Corporation Finance.
In a tweet yesterday, attorney Deaton asserted that the SEC’s Ethics Office did not approve Hinman’s controversial speech.
Per Deaton, it would have become public knowledge if the SEC Ethics Office had given Hinman approval to issue the remarks on cryptocurrencies.
“Here’s what I can practically guarantee: if Hinman’s speech had been screened/cleared or approved by the SEC Ethics office, we would have heard about it long ago,” Deaton said.
According to the pro-XRP lawyer, Hinman would have received the proverbial “get out of jail free card” if he mentioned that the Ethics Office had cleared the speech.
Furthermore, attorney Deaton stated that there was no way Hinman would not have disclosed that the Ethics Office gave the necessary approval for the speech to clear him of any corruption allegations.
Deaton shared a document showing different departments at the SEC that received the drafts of Hinman’s speech. Interestingly, the Ethics Office was not included among the departments that received a copy of Hinman’s drafts.
There’s no way Hinman wouldn’t have issued a statement like:
Although Mr. Hinman can’t discuss specifics surrounding his June 14, 2018 speech, the speech was screened and approved by SEC Ethics personnel.
Why hasn’t he?
Look and 👀 who all got a draft copy.👇
Ethics is blank pic.twitter.com/BSq9Ot0GgX
— John E Deaton (@JohnEDeaton1) May 29, 2023
Deaton’s latest statement on Hinman’s controversial speech comes less than a week after he disclosed that the Ethics Office and its chief Danae Serrano were not included in the email chain of Hinman’s docs.
Hinman’s Controversial Speech
For context, Hinman has become a significant part of the ongoing legal battle between the SEC and Ripple. On June 14, 2018, Hinman issued remarks regarding the legal classification of crypto assets at the Yahoo Finance All Markets Summit.
In the speech, the former SEC director declared Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) as non-securities, a statement that has sparked major debate in the crypto community.
Meanwhile, Hinman did not comment on XRP, which was among the top three crypto assets by market valuation at the time. Following the speech, Ripple met several times with top SEC officials seeking clarity on the legal status of XRP.
However, the SEC charged Ripple and two of its execs with offering unregistered securities in the form of XRP. With the SEC charging Ripple, the blockchain company requested the drafts of Hinman’s speech to strengthen its fair notice defense.
Despite the moves made by the SEC not to surrender the documents, it is interesting to note that Hinman’s emails are expected to be made public on June 13, 2023.
Corruption Allegations Leveled Against Hinman
Meanwhile, several corruption allegations have been leveled against Hinman. Last year, non-profit watchdog Empower Oversight called for the investigation of Hinman, claiming his controversial speech may have presented a conflict of interest.
According to Empower Oversight, Hinman received over $9 million in profit sharing from a pro-Ethereum law firm, Simpson Thatcher & Bartlett, while he was head of the SEC’s Corporation Finance.
Furthermore, Empower Oversight revealed that Hinman was still meeting with Simpson Thatcher despite the warnings from the Ethics Office.
In a tweet yesterday, a prominent XRP community member Mr. Huber (@Leerzeit) noted that Hinman had not refuted any of the corruption allegations against him in the past two and half years.
For the past 2.5 years, @billhinmanDC has been globally accused of bribery & corruption. His face and emails joking about ethics scattered all over the Internet. His name coming up at every congressional SEC hearing. He has likely received threats & visits to his home. Yet unlike…
— Mr. Huber🔥🦅🔥 (@Leerzeit) May 29, 2023
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