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Elon Musk must keep having his Tesla tweets checked by SEC ‘b******s’

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Elon Musk-SEC (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
Elon Musk-SEC (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Elon Musk’s request to scrap a settlement with securities regulators over 2018 tweets claiming he had the funding to take Tesla private was denied by a federal judge in New York.

Mr Musk tweeted that he was thinking about taking Tesla private at $420 (£327) a share, adding that he had “funding secured”, causing Tesla shares to rise. The tweets, which were found to have no basis according to regulators, caused market fluctuation and as a result, the US Securities and Exchange Commission charged Musk for “misleading investors”.

The SEC received a $20 million payment from both Mr Musk and Tesla, with the billionaire having to have lawyers check his tweets about the electric car company.

Mr Musk subsequently called the governmental body “bastards” in a TED Talk. Tesla did not respond to a request for comment from The Independent before time of publication.

To the judge, Mr Musk’s lawyers made the argument that such regulation “crossed the line into harassment” and impeded his constitutional right to free speech, Reuters reported, but the Judge rejected those arguments.

“Musk cannot now seek to retract the agreement he knowingly and willingly entered by simply bemoaning that he felt like he had to agree to it at the time but now — once the specter of the litigation is a distant memory and his company has become, in his estimation, all but invincible — wishes that he had not,” wrote Judge Liman.

Judge Lewis Liman on Wednesday also denied a motion to nullify subpoenas of Musk seeking information about possible violations of his settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Mr Musk has recently described himself as a “free speech absolutist” as a deal for him to buy the social networking site Twitter moves forward.

“By ‘free speech,’ I simply mean that which matches the law,” Musk tweeted on Tuesday. “If people want less free speech, they will ask government to pass laws to that effect. Therefore, going beyond the law is contrary to the will of the people.”

Many experts have pointed out that regulations on free speech as defined by the First Amendment prevents homophobia, racism, child pornography, and spam bots.

Additional reporting by Associated Press

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