The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission claims that XRP holders are disseminating false statements about its leadership on social media in its motion to quash Ripple’s subpoena to depose William Hinman, the former director of the agency’s Division of Corporation Finance.
The community has spent half a year spreading conspiracy theories about Hinman and ex-SEC Chair Jay Clayton suing Ripple due to alleged conflicts of interest.
The SEC claims that making Hinman testify would “increase the deterrent to public service.”
This would set a precedent for a “parade” of similar requests to depose the agency’s high-ranking officials.
The bar is too high
The motion states that the defendants’ subpoena should be quashed since it doesn’t meet its burden of demonstrating “exceptional circumstances.” There are strict limitations on deposing senior government officials:
The purpose of the “exceptional circumstances” rule is to “protect the mental processes” of government officials “in order to promote open channels of communication within government” and encourage qualified individuals to hold public office.
Hinman has no first-hand knowledge of the facts relevant to Ripple’s fair notice defense, which the SEC claims is “too insubstantial” to justify the deposition.
Moreover, the SEC points out that a similar request in the Kik case was rejected by the court.
Since Ripple and its executives are facing civil charges, the regulator claims that they shouldn't be given “greater latitude” than criminal defendants.
As reported by U.Today, the SEC also pointed out that XRP holders were using profanity and physical violence references to intimidate high-ranking SEC officials.