SEC: Musk should remain bound by deal on Twitter use
A Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regulator urged a federal judge to not let Tesla CEO and founder Elon Musk leave an agreement that requires his Twitter use be monitored, Reuters reported.
In a court filing on Tuesday, the SEC told U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan that Musk has not met the requirements to set aside the 2018 agreement with the commission, which required his attorneys to approve tweets of his that could be material to his company.
Tesla and the SEC settled a lawsuit in October 2018 after the commission accused Musk of misleading investors with a tweet that read he could make his company private at $420 per share and had the funding to do so.
Both parties agreed to each pay $20 million in civil fines from the settlement.
“When it comes to civil settlements, a deal is a deal, absent far more compelling circumstances than are here presented,” the commission said.
The agency also urged Nathan to reject Musk’s attempt to kill a subpoena that requested records concerning a Twitter poll he posted last November in which he asked his 78.7 million followers if he should sell 10 percent of his company’s stock, according to Reuters.
This comes as Musk has previously accused the agency of harassing him with “roving and unbound” investigations, citing it as an attempt to punish him for criticizing the government and exercising his constitutional right to free speech under the First Amendment.
In response, the SEC said it has the right to investigate Musk and his company, adding that Musk can oppose his subpoena by going through a subpoena enforcement action, Reuters noted.
“Musk complains about ‘the sheer number of demands’ by the SEC from 2018 to the present, which he characterizes as harassment,” the SEC said. “But Musk’s own chronology of alleged demands is both underwhelming and reflects legitimate inquiries as to new potentially violative conduct by Tesla and Musk.”