Newly discovered documents could pose a major roadblock for the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in its case against Ripple if they prove a former commission official had a conflict of interest.

The SEC has been embroiled in a legal battle against blockchain company Ripple (XRP) since 2020 in which the crypto company and senior executives Brad Garlinghouse and Christian Larsen were charged with selling XRP tokens as unregistered securities.

In a May 10 announcement, corruption watchdog Empower Oversight claimed that documents obtained under a Freedom Of Information request suggested former SEC Director of Corporate Finance William Hinman had a conflict of interest and should not have made a speech in 2018 in which he stated that Ether (ETH) and its transactions are not securities.

According to the non-profit watchdog, Hinman should have recused himself from speaking about Ethereum due to his undisclosed “direct financial interest” with the Simpson Thacher & Bartlett law firm that is a member of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA).

The EEA promotes the use of blockchain technology on the Ethereum blockchain.

Founder of legal news outlet Crypto Law lawyer John Deaton told his 198,000 Twitter followers on May 11 that Hinman’s potential compliance failure could jeopardize the…

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