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SEC cannot confirm whether Bill Hinman’s video is actually Bill Hinman in the Ripple case

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The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) cannot confirm or deny whether a video that mostly features Bill Hinman actually shows Bill Hinman.

Bill Hinman, also known as William Hinman, is the former director of the SEC’s corporate finance division, and he has become a key factor in the long-running litigation between the SEC and Ripple Labs over alleged unregistered securities offerings over XRP tokens.

Speaking at the 2018 Fintech Week Conference while serving at the SEC, Hinman explained that selling Ether (ETH) did not constitute “security transactions.”

But it seems the SEC is reluctant to admit the obvious in hopes of slowing the case.

According to a May 18 filing to enforce submissions for regulatory approval (RFAs) filed by Ripple Labs legal team Debevoise & Plimpton, the SEC “failed to respond under applicable rules to 53 RFAs on important issues, at where there is no real dispute.”

Ripple is seeking the court to order the RFAs either be allowed or the SEC provide amended answers. Regarding RFAs centered on Hilman, the SEC has been unable to confirm a number of cases that appear to be essentially undeniable.

For example, although Hinman was fully visible and audible during a taped interview at a public event, the SEC has declined to confirm or dispute whether the recording is authentic or whether the statements Hinman made actually came from him.

Specifically, the YouTube video that Ripple’s legal team is referencing appears to have been uploaded by interviewer Chris Brummer, who is a Georgetown law professor. The account, which dates back to 2016, bears his name, profile picture links to all of his professionally-related websites.

Despite this, the SEC claims to be at sea as to the identity of the mystery man.

“Subject to all of the above objections and after proper investigation, the information known and currently available is not sufficient to allow the Commission to grant or deny this request.”

The SEC has also denied a request that it cannot challenge the video’s authenticity and appears determined not to admit any information on the matter.

Late last month, after a request for document protection related to Hinman was denied, it also filed a letter request claiming that it had attorney-client privilege over internal details about Hinman’s 2018 speech.

Many viewers have argued that Hinman’s comments may be one of the crucial factors opposing the SEC’s argument that the XRP token should be considered a security. It has also recently been suggested that Hinman may have had a conflict of interest while working at the SEC, which could also affect the outcome of the case.

Related: SEC Chairman Uses Crypto Enforcement to Justify Fiscal Year 2023 Budget

On May 11, corruption watchdog Empower Oversight claimed to have documents obtained as part of a freedom of information request that showed Hinman had an undisclosed “direct financial interest” in the law firm Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, which is a member of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA) is ).

Commentators such as John Deaton, founder of legal news outlet Crypto Law, told his 198,000 Twitter followers: “If Hinman doesn’t submit the speech for conflict screening, it’s a game.