The founder of CryptoLaw, Pro-XRP lawyer John Deaton, has weighed in on the controversial Hinman speech document. Deaton has argued against the SEC’s claims that the emails and speech drafts represented Hinman’s personal opinion.

In a May 24 tweet, the attorney said the 63 emails and 52 speech drafts are too much to be tagged “personal opinions.” According to Deaton, the speech documents contain a lot of input from top SEC officials and cannot be one person’s opinion.

Brief On Controversial Hinman Docs And Deaton’s Argument

The controversial Hinman documents are related to emails and speech drafts from former SEC Director of Corporate Finance Division William Hinman. 

Hinman delivered the speech at the Yahoo Finance All Markets Summit in June 2018, where he reportedly stated that Ether and BTC are not securities.

This document has been a bone of contention among both parties in the XRP lawsuit, with Ripple supporting its defense of the Hinman speech.

The speech documents remained sealed after the SEC produced them on October 2022 following 18 months and six court orders.

In a recent development, Ripple requested the court to unseal the documents while the SEC fought to keep them sealed, arguing they were irrelevant to the case. However, Judge Torres denied the SEC’s motion, saying the documents are subject to public access. 

Nonetheless, the SEC now argues that the documents represent Hinman’s personal opinion, whereas Deaton thinks they’re too broad to be a single person’s opinion. Besides, the documents also contain inputs from SEC officials which the court must consider.

Deaton added, “There are 63 emails and 52 unique drafts of the Hinman Speech. “FIFTY-TWO” That’s a lot of drafts and input for a personal opinion,”

The pro-XRP lawyer said this while commenting on a July 2022 tweet regarding the email chain of the Hinman documents.

In 2022, Deaton revealed that the only SEC office whose input is not on the email chain is Ethics Office and Ethics Chief Danae Serrano.

Deaton’s Tweets Spark Debate Among Crypto Community

John Deaton’s latest tweet stirred reactions among crypto community members. Among those who commented was former SEC lawyer Marc Fagel.

Fagel called Deaton’s attention to an existing SEC concept. According to the lawyer, any statement by an SEC official that isn’t an enforcement action or rulemaking voted on by five commissioners at the agency represents the speaker’s personal views. Further, Fagel asked why people have not understood the SEC’s stance on the lawsuit. 

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Responding to Fagel’s comment, the pro-XRP lawyer said people understand the concept, but the problem is the SEC is always transactional in its arguments. 

After Judge Torres ordered Hinman’s document to be unsealed, attorney James K. Filnan said both parties filed a joint letter for a one-week extension until June 13 before opening the speech documents to the public.

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