Attorney John Deaton questions CNBC’s decision to ignore the SEC’s attack against XRP investors despite previously promoting the coin as a non-security.
John Deaton, the lawyer representing over 75K XRP investors, has raised pertinent questions regarding CNBC’s refusal to report how the SEC attacked retail investors following its lawsuit against Ripple Labs.
Deaton Sheds Light on CNBC Coverage of SEC v. Ripple Case
In an X post yesterday, Attorney Deaton pointed out that CNBC promoted XRP before the lawsuit. He added that Brian Kelly, one of CNBC’s reporters, stated in 2018 that XRP is not a security and showed viewers how to purchase the fifth-largest cryptocurrency by market cap.
Not only did @BKBrianKelly discuss #XRP, he showed the world how to acquire #XRP on @CNBCFastMoney with @MelissaLeeCNBC. BK even said “#XRP is NOT a security” in 2018. He was clearly right in saying that btw. Not only did @CNBC show people how to acquire #XRP on live TV, it had… https://t.co/IqZ230iGAP
— John E Deaton (@JohnEDeaton1) October 2, 2023
Furthermore, Deaton stressed that CNBC also had guides on its website showing the public how to purchase XRP. Notably, Deaton questioned CNBC’s decision to ignore the plight of retail investors it previously promoted XRP to in the first place.
“After showing retail investors how to buy XRP, and assuring them it wasn’t a security, why has CNBC not reported on how the SEC not only sued @Ripple but attacked retail investors, claiming the asset that they owned in digital wallets and in retirement accounts were illegal securities?” Deaton quizzed.
Former SEC Chair Can Handle Objective Reporting
He asked whether the decision stems from the fact that former SEC Chairman Jay Clayton, who authorized the lawsuit against Ripple, is a CNBC contributor.
Deaton speculated that Clayton could handle objective reporting on something that has never happened in the industry – thousands of retail investors requesting to be named as defendants in the Ripple lawsuit.
“Certainly, someone who’s served as Chairman of the SEC, over the largest and greatest capital market in the world, could be subject to unbiased reporting over FACTS, not opinions,” Deaton added.
SEC v. Ripple Rages On
Meanwhile, the SEC v. Ripple lawsuit has been ongoing for nearly three years. The SEC, which charged Ripple in 2020, claimed that the company sold XRP as an unregistered securities offering.
As a result, several US-based crypto exchanges, including Coinbase, delisted XRP, thus wreaking havoc on the price of XRP.
Interestingly, 12,600 XRP holders, which later surged to over 75K, joined Deaton to file a motion to intervene and have them named as actual defendants in the case. Although the court denied the motion, it conferred them with an Amicus Curiae (friends of the court) status.
Their role in the lawsuit was instrumental, as they helped dismiss an SEC’s expert testimony. Additionally, the court also cited the 3K affidavits submitted by XRP holders as one of the pieces of evidence proving Ripple’s programmatic sales are non-securities.
Despite the court’s ruling, a portion of the lawsuit, the SEC’s case against Ripple execs, has been scheduled for trial by Q2 2024.
In addition, the SEC is pursuing an interlocutory appeal to challenge the court’s decision on Ripple’s XRP programmatic sales and other distributions.