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Elon Musk Accuses SEC Of “Harassment” And “Weaponizing” His 2018 Securities Fraud Settlement

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

It’s starting to feel like things between Elon Musk and the SEC aren’t starting off on the right foot in 2022. 

Musk has now accused the regulatory agency of ”harassment in a calculated effort to ‘chill’ his right to free speech in its oversight of his communications with shareholders as part of a 2018 agreement that settled civil securities charges against the executive,” CNBC reported Thursday morning

A court filing on Thursday reads: “The SEC seems to be targeting Mr. Musk and Tesla for unrelenting investigation largely because Mr. Musk remains an outspoken critic of the government. The SEC’s outsized efforts seem calculated to chill his exercise of First Amendment rights rather than to enforce generally applicable laws in evenhanded fashion.”

The filing is part of an attempt to get the agency’s 2018 case against him, wherein he settled and was supposed to appoint a “Twitter sitter” to approve his Tweets, shelved. Many, including us, have been skeptical that Musk has been running his Tweets through the required channels before posting. For example, Musk posted this last night:

pic.twitter.com/ebhWoBNcM0

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 17, 2022

Musk claimed in the Thursday filing that he thought the 2018 settlement would end the SEC’s “harassment”. His lawyer wrote: “But the SEC has broken its promises,” before arguing that the SEC was “weaponizing the consent decree by using it to try to muzzle and harass Mr. Musk and Tesla.”

Recall, we reported in January that Tesla had reportedly asked its law firm to fire an attorney who formerly worked at the Securities and Exchange Commission. 

The attorney that Tesla wanted fired interviewed Elon Musk as part of the SEC’s 2018 probe into Tesla, according to CNBC. The 2018 investigation infamously led to a settlement wherein Musk and Tesla had to pay a $20 million fine each and wherein Musk had to step down as Tesla’s chairman. 

The firm, Cooley LLP, did not fire the lawyer. 

As a result, Tesla has since moved to replace Cooley as counsel and SpaceX has also stopped working with the firm.

You can read Musk’s full Thursday filing here.


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