According to the application, Griffith’s indictment does not contain any information on alleged obvious acts.
Per Klein, the US president does not have the authority to prohibit the transmission of information.
Klein claims that there is no guideline that defines prohibited services under executive orders.
Brian Klein, Virgil Griffith’s lawyer, has filed a motion to dismiss the charges against the Ethereum developer. A report revealed this news on October 26 and noted that the lawyer filed a motion for dismissal after the U.S. government charged Griffith with violating sanctions laws. Per Klein, the government’s indictment of Griffith does not contain any information about alleged obvious actions. Furthermore, the lawyer claims that the indictment does not contain any statement of fact.
According to the motion to dismiss the indictment,
“There are several legal limits to the authority of the President under Section 1702, and in this case the President shall not have the power to directly or indirectly regulate or prohibit the importation of any information or materials, including but not limited to publications, films, posters, phonographic records, photographs, microfilms, microfiche, tapes, compact discs, CD-ROMs, works of art, and communications from, or exportation to, any country, whether commercial or otherwise, regardless of format or means of transmission.
There is no guideline that defines prohibited services under implementing regulations.
According to Klein, the government’s theory is that Griffith offered his services by attending and speaking at a block chain conference in Pyongyang. The reason, he says, is that the developer provided the DPRK with valuable information on block chain and crypto technology. In addition, the developer participated in discussions on the use of crypto currencies to circumvent sanctions and money laundering.
Klein argued, however, that Griffith only provided information that was already publicly available. He added that the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), the Treasury Department that oversees the enforcement of sanctions, has neither issued regulations nor published guidance documents that clarify the definition of services that are prohibited under implementing regulations.
The very first sanction case with crypto
This news comes after the US authorities arrested Griffith in November 2019 on charges of violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA). The U.S. government also accused him of violating executive orders by traveling to North Korea and allegedly teaching government officials how to use the block chain and crypto currencies to circumvent economic sanctions.
According to reports, this was the very first sanction case in the United States involving crypto-currencies. As such, it will attract much attention as its findings could serve as an example for other cases that the U.S. government could bring under the law as it continues to sanction individuals and organizations.