Empower Oversight Challenges SEC Over Cryptocurrency Documents


  • Empower Oversight has sued the SEC for not responding adequately to a FOIA request aimed at uncovering potential conflicts of interest within the SEC regarding cryptocurrency regulation.
  • The legal battle focuses on the SEC’s slow response to revealing documents that could show ethical concerns among SEC officials, with Empower Oversight pushing for the disclosure of information to ensure ethical guidelines are followed and to influence future regulatory approaches towards cryptocurrencies.

In a significant legal move, Empower Oversight has initiated a lawsuit against the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), accusing the agency of failing to adequately respond to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. 

The request was centered around obtaining documents that could potentially reveal conflicts of interest within the SEC concerning cryptocurrency regulation. Empower Oversight’s persistent efforts to uncover ethical concerns within the SEC have led to the legal confrontation, highlighting the organization’s commitment to transparency and accountability in government agencies.

Unveiling ethical concerns and conflicts of interest

Empower Oversight’s legal battle with the SEC stems from the agency’s sluggish response to a FOIA request aimed at disclosing potential conflicts of interest among SEC officials in the realm of cryptocurrency. Tristan Leavitt, President of Empower Oversight, criticized the SEC for its lack of cooperation and transparency, emphasizing the public’s right to understand how certain SEC officials may have violated ethical guidelines.

The organization’s previous FOIA requests have already shed light on ethical issues involving key figures such as William Hinman, former Director of the Division of Corporate Finance, and Jay Clayton, former SEC Chairman. These revelations include Hinman’s financial interests in cryptocurrencies and his interactions with entities like Simpson Thacher, despite being advised to recuse himself from matters directly affecting the firm.

Empower Oversight’s scrutiny has also extended to public statements made by Clayton, which supported Hinman’s views on cryptocurrencies like Ether and Bitcoin, further complicating the SEC’s stance on cryptocurrency regulation. The organization’s relentless pursuit of transparency has been met with resistance from the SEC, which has delayed responses and failed to commit to a timeline for processing the FOIA requests, prompting Empower Oversight to take legal action.

Legal battles between SEC and Empower Oversight and the quest for transparency

Empower Oversight’s legal strategy has evolved over the years, with the organization filing multiple lawsuits to compel the SEC to release documents related to cryptocurrency regulation and conflicts of interest. The initial lawsuit, filed in December 2021, sought to force the SEC to provide documents requested in a detailed FOIA submission from August 2021. Despite the SEC’s initial agreement to search for records based on specific names provided by Empower Oversight, the agency later backtracked, leading to ongoing legal disputes.

In a notable development, Empower Oversight filed a new complaint in May 2023, targeting the SEC’s compliance with a December 2022 FOIA request. The action resulted in the SEC producing 324 pages of documents, yet Empower Oversight continues to press for more information, highlighting the SEC’s reluctance to fully disclose communications related to cryptocurrency enforcement decisions.

Empower Oversight’s persistent legal and investigative efforts underscore a broader struggle for transparency and accountability in how government agencies regulate emerging technologies like cryptocurrencies. By challenging the SEC’s handling of FOIA requests and pushing for the release of documents that could reveal conflicts of interest, the company is not only seeking to illuminate past actions but also to influence future regulatory approaches.


Empower Oversight’s legal confrontation with the SEC over cryptocurrency document disclosure represents a pivotal moment in the ongoing dialogue around transparency, ethics, and regulation within the financial and technological sectors. By challenging the SEC’s reluctance to release critical information, the company is not only advocating for accountability among public officials but also highlighting the need for a more transparent regulatory approach to emerging technologies like cryptocurrencies.

Disclaimer. The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decisions.

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Haseeb Shaheen

As a Web Researcher and Internet Marketer, Haseeb Shaheen delivers relevant valuable content for audiences. He focuses on financial and crypto market analysis, as well as technology-related areas that help people change their lives.

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