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Elon Musk appeals to end SEC decree over Twitter posts



(Reuters) – Elon Musk on Wednesday appealed a judge’s refusal to terminate his 2018 agreement with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, which requires a lawyer from Tesla Inc. to review some of his posts on Twitter.

According to a court report, Mr. Musk to ask the 2nd U.S. Court of Appeals in Manhattan to overturn the April 27 decision by U.S. District Judge Lewis Liman allowing his consent decree with the SEC to apply. The SEC declined to comment.

The decree resolved an SEC lawsuit that accused Musk of having deceived investors by tweeting on August 7, 2018, that he had “secured financing” to take his electric car business privately, even though an acquisition was not close.

Musk agreed to have a Tesla lawyer review tweets that may contain material information about the company. He and Tesla also paid $ 20 million in civil fines, and Musk resigned as Tesla̵

7;s chairman.

The SEC later opened an investigation and sued documents regarding Musk and Tesla’s compliance with the decree, after Musk in a tweet on November 6, 2021 asked followers if he would sell 10% of his Tesla share to cover tax bills on options.

Musk argued that the decree and lawsuit undermined his constitutional right to freedom of expression and accused the SEC of trying to launch “endless, limitless investigations into his speech.”

Judge Liman, however, rejected Musk’s argument and found it “completely unconvincing” that Musk, already one of the richest people in the world in 2018, settled down to avoid financial coercion.

The judge said Musk could not escape the decree by “complaining that he felt he had to agree to it at the time but now – when the ghost of the trial is a distant memory and his company has become, in his estimation, all but invincible – wish he did not have it. ”

Mr Musk, the world’s richest man according to Forbes, is trying to buy Twitter Inc. for $ 44 billion.

He has called himself an “absolute freedom of expression” who wants to change the company’s policy on freedom of expression. He has also said that his “financially secure” tweet was truthful.

The appeal process often takes several months.


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