A judge on Wednesday rejected Musk’s request to ditch his 2018 deal with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that required a company lawyer to screen all his
“Musk was not forced to enter into the consent decree,” U.S. District Judge
Musk, 50, has been sparring with the SEC since he tweeted in 2018 that he had “funding secured” to take Tesla private, sending the shares of the electric-car maker surging. After an investigation, the regulator sued, saying Musk had misled investors. Musk and Tesla ended that dispute by agreeing to each pay $20 million and requiring review of Musk’s Tesla-related tweets.
The SEC has argued that Musk freely agreed to the limits and that review of his tweets by a Tesla securities lawyer doesn’t amount to government regulation of his speech.
Liman also denied Musk’s effort to block an SEC subpoena seeking information from Musk on his tweets, ruling that he’s as subject to investigation by the agency as anyone else.
“The court is simply saying we can move to quash these subpoenas when they are compelled,” said Musk’s lawyer,
Liman dispensed with Musk’s argument that the SEC lacks authority to seek information from him.
“Musk may wish it were otherwise, but he remains subject to the same enforcement authority -- and has the same means to challenge the exercise of that authority -- as any other citizen,” Liman said. “Indeed, to conclude otherwise would be to hold that a serial violator of the securities laws or a recidivist would enjoy greater protection against SEC enforcement than a person who had never even been accused of a securities law violation.”
Liman said such a result would be “perverse.”
(Revises first paragraph.)
--With assistance from
To contact the reporter on this story:
To contact the editors responsible for this story:
© 2022 Bloomberg L.P. All rights reserved. Used with permission.