The battle between the Ripple and SEC has continued to linger for a year and former SEC chairman, Jay Clayton had been accused by the Ripple community of being the cause due to personal issues he had with the San Francisco based cross border company.
Jay Clayton Comments on Ripple Lawsuit
In a recent CNBC interview on December 15, former Securities and Exchange Commission chairman Jay Clayton made rare comments, if only briefly, on the high-profile Ripple lawsuit he filed against the company in the final days of his work in December Time.
Squawk Box host Becky Quick asked the former government official about a potential conflict of interest in law enforcement. Some XRP supporters believe this could give rival Ethereum an unfair advantage.
Clayton declined to make any revealing comments on the case, but stated that the defendant had the right to express his or her opinion:
“Look, it’s America. People have the right to defend themselves. They have the right to their opinion.”
Clayton said SEC officials are banned from commenting on the case, they let the facts stand and speak for themselves.
Ripple is accused of illegally selling $1.3 billion worth of XRP tokens. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said these tokens were unregistered securities. CEO Brad Garlinghouse and co-founder Chris Larson have also served as defendants in this case.
The company alleged that the US Securities and Exchange Commission classified Ether and Bitcoin as non-securities, providing them with “free tickets”. However, the agency made it clear that it has not yet taken an official position on any particular digital currency.
In mid-July, Sarah Netburn, the judge responsible for overseeing discovery disputes in the Ripple case, authorized William Hinman, the agency’s former director of corporate finance, to testify that Ether was not his now-famous 2018 securities speech. In his testimony, Hinman said he warned Ripple that XRP must comply with security laws.
Hinman’s law firm is part of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance, and Clayton joined the One River Asset Management hedge fund shortly after leaving the SEC, which provided a breeding ground for speculation in the XRP community.
Ripple executives have always avoided spreading conspiracy theories about conflicts of interest, but Garlinghouse said in a September interview that the timing of the lawsuit was sketchy:
“I get this question a lot…The timing stinks. It’s not a good look.”