- John Deaton, a well-regarded cryptocurrency attorney, has raised pertinent queries about the true intent behind the SEC’s lawsuit against Ripple Labs.
- Deaton alludes to suspicious events before the lawsuit, such as private meetings between former SEC Chair Jay Clayton and his successor Gary Gensler, and a sudden departure of top SEC officials.
In the cryptosphere, the gaze of many is fixed on the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) legal action against Ripple Labs. But what truly underpins this unprecedented lawsuit? John Deaton, an esteemed pro-XRP attorney and the founder of CryptoLaw, may just have the key to unlock this mystery.
A vocal advocate for cryptocurrency, Deaton has taken to Twitter to voice his concerns and raise critical questions about the lawsuit, which he describes as the most consequential non-fraud enforcement action since 1946. His comments come in response to a series of occurrences surrounding the initiation of the lawsuit, which he believes warrant a more profound investigation.
Deaton emphasizes the need for transparency concerning discussions between former SEC Chair Jay Clayton and his successor, Gary Gensler, which took place on December 21, 2020. According to Clayton’s public schedule, this meeting happened a day before the SEC filed the lawsuit against Ripple Labs and two of its executives, Brad Garlinghouse and Chris Larsen. Interestingly, Clayton instructed the Enforcement Division to file the lawsuit on the same day he left the SEC, an unusual course of action that Deaton suggests may conceal ulterior motives.
Adding another layer to the intrigue is the departure of several high-ranking SEC officials around the same time as Clayton’s exit. These officials include the directors of Corporation Finance, Trading and Markets (T&M), and the Enforcement Division. The simultaneous departure of these officials, termed by SEC’s former commissioner Prof. Joseph Grundfest as a “mass exodus,” raises questions about the SEC’s exercise of discretion during this pivotal period.
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This narrative has sparked an outcry among crypto enthusiasts, including Brian Costello, who has called for a deeper investigation into Clayton’s actions. In a recent interview, Clayton expressed reservations about the U.S. regulators’ new enforcement strategy, which involves filing multiple lawsuits against crypto businesses. This shift in regulatory ethos has left many wondering if Clayton has concealed significant facts about his tenure at the SEC.
As Deaton continues to dig deeper into the SEC vs. Ripple case, he has also sought to clarify circulating misconceptions within the crypto community. Despite the intrigue, he insists that there’s no “secret plot” and maintains that the lawsuit’s unfolding is genuine. With the prospect of the case reaching the Supreme Court, Deaton remains at the forefront, providing insightful commentary on this legal drama that continues to rivet the cryptocurrency world.
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