• New York Times submitted a filing to the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York in defense of First Amendment rights.
• The filing was made due to a gag order placed upon former FTX CEO Sam “SBF” Bankman-Fried and his criminal trial participants.
• NYT vice president David McCraw argued that members of the public and press had a right to receive information related to former Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison’s financial scheme which defrauded investors of billions of dollars.
NYT Defends Article on Caroline Ellison
The New York Times has submitted a filing in the criminal case against former FTX CEO Sam “SBF” Bankman-Fried, arguing the court should defend First Amendment rights by allowing certain parties to provide information to members of the media. On July 20, The New York Times published an article revealing details of former Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison’s private journals, including her professional and personal relationship with SBF.
Gag Order Placed Upon Bankman-Fried
In an Aug. 2 letter to Judge Lewis Kaplan of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, NYT vice president and deputy general counsel David McCraw expressed concerns about the gag order placed upon Bankman-Fried and what participants in his criminal trial were allowed to say to journalists. The judge removed language from the order, suggesting it wasn’t necessary to prevent “interfer[ing] with a fair trial.“
Public Interest In Financial Scheme
McCraw argued that since Bankman-Fried was a “non-lawyer,” the standard for imposing a gag order aimed at preventing harm to other parties connected to the criminal case was stricter than for lawyers. He claimed that due to Caroline Ellison’s involvement in „a financial scheme that defrauded investors of billions of dollars,“ there is legitimate public interest in knowing more about her activities.
Right To Receive Information
The NYT also asserted that members of both press and public have a right under law according First Amendment rights to receive information related ot this case. McCraw argued that news outlets have just as much right as anyone else involved in this investigatione should have access „to any relevant facts or witness statements.“
Defending First Amendment Rights
In conclusion, McCraw stated that while he recognized this motion was prompted by an article on Caroline Ellison’s finances, it is important not only for this particular case but also for defending citizens‘ First Amendment rights broadly speaking: „It is important not only here but also more generally for courts…to ensure respect for constitutional protections afforded speech and press freedoms.“