The Securities and Exchange Commission clapped back at billionaire Elon Musk days after a federal judge refused to hold the Tesla CEO in contempt of a consent order regarding Musk’s Twitter use.
Robert Jackson — one of five commissioners on the Securities and Exchange Commission — told reporters at an April 8 conference in Washington that the agency’s contempt filing against Musk was “reasonable.”
SEC Commissioner: We Took Very ‘Reasonable’ Steps
“I understand those who are skeptical and who feel that it’s innovative relief,” Jackson said. “To me, it was important relief. I thought [SEC] Enforcement took very reasonable steps, both to the nature of the relief and our oversight of that relief.”
Robert Jackson also agreed with New York federal judge Alison Nathan’s decision to order the SEC and Musk to settle their differences by April 18.
Elon Musk: SEC Is Being Unreasonable and Vindictive
As CCN reported, Elon Musk slammed the SEC’s contempt filing, saying it was “wrong at virtually every level.”
Musk accused the Securities and Exchange Commission of being vindictive and unreasonable when it filed a contempt motion against him over a February 2019 tweet concerning Tesla’s production estimate.
'Wrong at Virtually Every Level': Elon Musk Torches 'Radical' SEC for Twitter Gag Attempt https://t.co/qBTAvBkrgK
— CCN.com (@CCNMarkets) March 24, 2019
Musk underscored that the data he tweeted was already public information. In addition, he clarified his tweet hours later to ensure there was no confusion.
By doing this, Musk pointed out that he did not violate a September 2018 SEC consent decree under which he agreed to get approval from Tesla before tweeting anything that might impact TSLA’s stock price. In this instance, Musk’s tweet did not move Tesla’s stock.
This is the tweet that enraged the SEC:
Meant to say annualized production rate at end of 2019 probably around 500k, ie 10k cars/week. Deliveries for year still estimated to be about 400k.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 20, 2019
Elon Musk: SEC Is Mad Because I Dissed Them
Musk has accused the SEC of overreaching and trying to unseat him as Tesla CEO because he had stated in a recent interview that he has no respect for the agency (who does?).
However, SEC Commissioner Robert Jackson insists that the agency is merely doing its job.
“The idea (is) that we would have future oversight to prevent future problems from recurring,” Jackson said.
Musk: The SEC and I Will Settle Our Differences
In a statement after last week’s court showdown, Elon praised Judge Alison Nathan, and said he was confident that he and the SEC could work out their differences — just as she had ordered.
“I have great respect for Judge Nathan, and I’m pleased with her decision today,” Musk said. “The tweet in question was true, immaterial to shareholders, and in no way a violation of my agreement with the SEC.”
Musk continued: “We have always felt that we should be able to work through any disagreements directly with the SEC, rather than prematurely rushing to court. That is exactly what Judge Nathan instructed.”