The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) continues to drag the $1.3 billion lawsuit against blockchain payments company Ripple. The securities regulator has now requested the court to limit Ripple’s access to the SEC’s internal documents, accusing that these efforts were to divert attention from the case’s primary focus.
The Ripple vs SEC lawsuit has been on the news since December last year. Per recent reports, the SEC has accused Ripple of “harassment” right after the blockchain company’s legal team was granted access to the regulator’s internal documents.
The documents in question contain the SEC’s views regarding three cryptocurrencies, namely, Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Ripple. In the documents the SEC describe all three of the tokens as “digital currencies.” However, the regulator now wants to limit access to these documents claiming they are “irrelevant” to the case.
Ripple was granted access to the SEC’s internal documents on April 7. An order issued by the court urged the SEC to search thousands of external emails of 19 custodians for documents related to XRP, Bitcoin, and Ethereum.
While the SEC complied with the order, it denied Ripple access to some records. The regulator then sent a letter to judge Sarah Netburn on April 21, requesting the court to limit Ripple’s access to the internal records. The SEC is seeking to prevent the defendants from “obtaining internal SEC staff communications the court already excluded from production.” The letter continued:
“It has become evident through the meet-and-confer process that Defendants are seeking to ignore the limitations of this Court’s Order and to mire the SEC in indefinite discovery disputes and, if successful, document review.”
Ripple wants to restrict information as well
The report comes days after Ripple filed a motion to prevent the SEC from getting information on the company’s non-US dealings from foreign regulators. Lawyers representing Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse and Ripple executive chairman Chris Larsen to U.S. Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn on April 16, 2021.
The letter stated that the SEC is trying to leverage its Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with foreign regulators to have them request documents from entities under the foreign regulators’ jurisdiction. This, the letter claims, is outside the Federal Rules and the Hague Convention.