Paul Grewal, the chief legal officer at Coinbase, recently shared his take on the ongoing controversy surrounding FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried’s bail. Grewal’s response was prompted by the New York Times’ letter to the judge overseeing the case against FTX and its disgraced founder, which sought to prevent the latter’s bail revocation.
Coinbase CLO Paul Grewal took to Twitter earlier today, disagreeing with the NYT’s stance on Sam Bankman-Fried’s recent actions:
In all the years of bail revocation hearings I did, never did anyone or any organization claim a First Amendment right to facilitate witness intimidation. And for good reason— that’s not how the First Amendment works. https://t.co/ZEtUlvXbpI— paulgrewal.eth (@iampaulgrewal) August 4, 2023
Last month, Sam Bankman-Fried shared the personal writings of former colleague Caroline Ellison with the New York Times. Ellison, who served as the chief executive of FTX’s sister firm Alameda Research before its implosion in November last year, had written about her activities at Alameda in the diary that Bankman-Fried gave to the NYT.
The United States Department of Justice took issue with SBF’s actions last month and accused him of witness tampering and sought his incarceration. The court granted a gag order for the FTX founder, which prevented him from making public statements about the case or discussing the details of the ongoing lawsuit outside of the court.
On August 2, the New York Times wrote to the New York Judge hearing the matter and argued that Bankman-Fried was defending himself when he shared Ellison’s writings with them. The news giant further argued that its article about Ellison was in the best interest of the public given involvement in the inner workings of both FTX and Alameda Research.
The NTY also cited the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which protects freedom of speech. According to Grewal, the NYT’s decision to claim a First Amendment right in Bankman-Fried’s bail revocation hearings was not appropriate, given that his actions facilitated the intimidation of a key witness. Grewal added, “That’s not how the First Amendment works”.