- Legal expert John E. Deaton criticizes SEC’s “aiding and abetting” charges against Ripple’s Brad Garlinghouse.
- Deaton believes SEC’s case could have been prevented by allowing former officials William Hinman and Jay Clayton to testify on XRP’s non-security status.
John Deaton, the founder of CryptolawUS and a prominent advocate for XRP holders, has strongly criticized the SEC’s accusations of “aiding and abetting” against Brad Garlinghouse, the CEO of Ripple.
Deaton contends that the current situation could potentially have been averted had the SEC permitted former executives Bill Hinman and Jay Clayton to provide testimony at an earlier juncture.
Deaton emphasizes that the inclusion of testimonies from Bill Hinman and Jay Clayton, who were previously associated with the SEC, during the legal clash between the SEC and Ripple Labs, could have led to the classification of XRP as a non-security asset from an early stage.
Deaton accuses the SEC of intentionally disregarding this information for an extended period. On the social media platform X (formerly Twitter), a user by the name of Digital Asset Investor.XRP expressed the opinion that, if they had the authority, they would have summoned attorneys Lowell Ness and Chris Dixon from a16z as the initial witnesses in the legal battle between the SEC and Ripple.
This would have been in addition to former SEC officials Clayton and Hinman. Digital Asset Investor underscored that a16z attorneys Lowell Ness and Chris Dixon would have been valuable initial witnesses, along with former SEC officials Jay Clayton and Bill Hinman, owing to their roles in what’s been referred to as the “Ethereum Free Pass Speech.”
Deaton concurred that Bill Hinman’s testimony carries significant weight, but he noted that involving a former SEC chair as a trial witness isn’t a practical option.
Despite this, Deaton argues that the SEC’s decision to bring charges against Brad Garlinghouse lacks merit, particularly in light of Jay Clayton’s tendency to pursue personal complaints against executives without necessarily implicating fraud.
The role of Jay Clayton as a witness is of pivotal importance, particularly due to his interactions with Ripple’s CEO and CTO. These interactions revealed that Brad Garlinghouse had conveyed Ripple’s concerns following Bill Hinman’s speech. Worth noting is that neither Jay Clayton nor Bill Hinman explicitly classified XRP as a security.