Elon Musk tells federal judge he didn't violate SEC order

The Tesla founder filed a court order saying he didn't violate an agreement with the SEC about his tweets.

Tesla founder, Elon Musk, has filed a report with a federal judge challenging the US Securities Exchange Commission (SEC). He is challenging the SEC’S allegation that he violated a court order with his tweets.

Why is Elon Musk responding to the SEC?

Musk is responding to the SEC wanting to hold him in contempt for controversial tweets. The agency wants to hold Musk in contempt because they feel Musk inaccurately tweeted about how many cars Tesla would produce. Musk was not supposed to tweet without consent from other executives. He maintains that he didn’t violate the SEC’s agreement in the court filing.

‘The Securities and Exchange Commission's request that Musk be held in civil contempt for a single, immaterial tweet that dutifully complied with [a court-ordered settlement] is incorrect on the facts and on the law,’ said Musk in the court filing.

Musk’s comments about the SEC are also complicating the conflict between Musk and the SEC. During an interview, Musk said, ‘ I do not respect the SEC.’ Musk’s lawyers allege that he was just exercising his First Amendment rights.

‘During the interview, and consistent with his First Amendment rights, Musk was sharply critical of the SEC. The SEC’s heavy reliance on this interview in its motion for contempt smacks of retaliation and censorship,’ said Musk’s lawyers in the filing.

‘Undeterred, and perhaps embarrassed by Musk’s criticism of it, the SEC urges the court to read and apply the order in an unconstitutional manner,’ added his lawyers.

How will to the SEC respond to Musk?

The SEC may respond to Musk by continuing its attempt to hold him in contempt. Britt Latham, attorney at Bass, Berry, & Sims said that the agency wants to use this case to possibly enact stiffer penalties if Musk violates any securities laws in the future.

‘They[the SEC] are building their case. If they get a violation here, they could get the court to issue an order that puts some more teeth into the consequences of the next violation,’ said Latham.

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