Elon Musk Seeks To End SEC Settlement That Required Getting Some Tweets Preapproved

by Joe Rutland
(Photo by Patrick Pleul/picture alliance via Getty Images)

Elon Musk tweets what he wants to tweet. But there have been exceptions. Now, the Telsa CEO wants his freedom. The freedom to have Elon Musk tweets unhindered. He’s filed a document on Tuesday in a federal district court seeking to end his settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission. That is one that would require tweets of his containing material business information to be vetted before publishing.

At A Glance

  • Tesla CEO Elon Musk wants his tweets to not be under scrutiny.
  • Musk has filed a document seeking change in an SEC settlement.
  • He wants it to end because of concerns over tweets.
  • Musk’s attorney filed that document in a federal district court.

Elon Musk Tweets About His Business, But Wants More Freedom

All of this is according to that document. Elon Musk tweets what he does and he wants more freedom to do so. His lawyer has asked the court to terminate or modify the settlement. It was revised in 2019. The lawyer claims that complying with its rules “has become impossible under the SEC’s skewed conception of its authority.”

“The more the SEC monitors Mr. Musk’s Twitter activity, and forces others to do the same, the more Mr. Musk’s freedom of expression is infringed,” the document alleges. We get more about this from CNBC.

This consent decree came about after Musk’s infamous “funding secured” tweet. It was when Elon Musk tweets about taking Tesla private. The SEC did accuse Musk of fraud over allegedly making “false and misleading” statements. Also that he failed to notify regulators of material events.

Original SEC Settlement Includes No Admission of Wrongdoing

In the original settlement with the SEC, it did include no admission or denial of wrongdoing by Musk. Yet it also was not an indication of innocence. But there is more going on with Elon Musk at this time.

Musk’s team wants to quash a 2021 subpoena that the SEC sought about whether he obtained Tesla’s approval to tweet a poll. It was one that Musk said he would use to determine whether to sell 10 percent of his stake in the electric-automaker.

Now, in the filing, Musk’s lawyers called the subpoena “but one in a winding parade of investigations” into Musk and his companies “without factual basis.”

His attorneys also allege that the SEC attempted to “tarnish” Elon Musk and Tesla’s records with the allegedly “unfounded investigations.” That pattern shows the SEC issued the subpoena in bad faith, Musk’s lawyer alleges.

Musk felt “forced” to sign the initial 2018 agreement, according to the filing, because “the SEC’s action stood to jeopardize the company’s financing” and “protracted litigation” would not be in shareholders’ interest. There was no comment from the SEC.