BREAKING: FOIA Request Granted, We Have Bill Hinman’s Emails!

May 4, 2022 7:11 pm

A huge shout-out goes out to Stuart Young for this one — follow him here on Twitter!

After months of fighting for a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request made to the SEC originally back on January 2, 2022, he was finally successful in receiving a response.

And we have all the docs.

Stuart forwarded the documents to us so we could get them out to you, so we publish these with his express permission.

We also note that items received in a FOIA Request are public domain:

Now let’s get into the meat of what we’ve got…

Stuart’s FOIA request asked for three items:

(1) access to Bill Hinman’s public calendar and (2) a list
of the 63 email recipients he discussed the "Hinman speech
content" with, or (3) any official SEC meetings Jay Clayton had
with Ethereum.

And amazingly, today, he finally received a response.

Here is the letter back from the FOIA Services department of the SEC (we have redacted Stuart’s address for privacy):

SEC Response

(hover your mouse over the letter and use the buttons at the bottom to read all 3 pages)

This is just the cover letter, but I found so many things interesting here…

First, they’ve come up with several justifications for why they have to redact information, and redact they do — as you’ll see in moment.

But here was my favorite part: their response to Request #1, which was a copy of Hinman’s Public Calendar.

Note, I said his “public” calendar.

These are civil servants in the SEC, are they not?

They work for us, do they not?

What kind of a system do we have where the SEC can’t quite decide if us plebs are entitled to see his “public calendar”?

Unreal.

Quote:

  We are consulting with other SEC staff on item 1 of your
request, regarding Mr. Hinman’s calendar.  As soon as we
complete our consultation, we will notify you of our findings.

I won’t hold my breath on that outcome.

But it really tells us everything, doesn’t it?

How damning must that information be if they can’t release it?

As the Digital Asset Investor has predicted, you will NEVER see that calendar…

Now let’s get into the fun stuff…the Hinman emails!

There are probably more redacted portions than parts they allow you to see, and that’s not surprising.

But there is still a LOT we can gather here.

First, there are a lot of names in the “From”, “To” and “CC” fields, and I’ve got a feeling the Digital Asset Investor is going to be a dog on a bone looking into each of these names!  Along with everyone else in the XRP Community that does such incredible work (TAIG, Stefan Huber, to name a couple)…

The second thing that jumps out to me is how active Hinman was in making edits and reviewing drafts of this speech.

And everyone sure seemed to act like they needed his approval on the final draft.

I see a LOT of @sec.gov email addresses in these email chains, and it sure looks like everyone was working on concert to get the draft just right.

But it was just Bill Hinman’s “personal opinion”, right?

No, wait, sorry — it was just the personal opinion of one division within the SEC, right?

Sorry, I can’t keep up with the latest lie-du-jour.

Those are my initial comments and I’m sure everyone is going to have a lot more as we all dig into this.

Please enjoy (hover your mouse over the image and use the buttons at the bottom to scroll through all 71 pages):

22-00877-FOIA Enclosure

Speaking of the speech, enjoy this walk down memory lane:

All credit goes to Stuart Young for not giving up in his effort to get these documents.

Great job Stuart!

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