Elon Musk likens himself to Eminem in legal battle with SEC

Elon Musk in contrast himself to the foul-mouthed rapper Eminem in a courtroom submitting, alleging that the Securities and Exchange Commission is operating roughshod over his First Amendment rights because it clamps down on his Twitter behavior.

The billionaire Tesla CEO’s Tuesday legal salvo cites Eminem and his track “Without Me,” whose lyrics embody “The FCC won’t let me be or let me be me” — a lament over a $7,000 penalty that the Federal Communications Commission imposed in 2002 on a Colorado radio station, Citadel Broadcasting, for enjoying Eminem’s profanity-laden ditty “The Real Slim Shady”.

In Musk’s Tuesday submitting in the US Southern District of New York, his legal professionals quote Eminem’s lyrics — inserting “SEC” in brackets in place of FCC — and notice that the FCC in the end rescinded its penalty, ruling that “the First Amendment is a critical Constitutional limitation that demands we proceed cautiously and with appropriate restraint.”

At challenge is a request by the SEC — headed by hard-charging Chair Gary Gensler — for a wide-ranging subpoena masking his tweets from April 30, 2019 to the current to decide whether or not Musk obtained pre-approval for every of them by a Tesla lawyer earlier than publication.

SEC Chair Gary Gensler
SEC Chair Gary Gensler

The Twitter laws have been imposed as a part of a 2018 consent decree to settle a flap over Musk’s now-infamous Aug. 7, 2018 tweet, in which he claimed he had “funding secured” to take Tesla non-public at $420 a share. Musk — who mentioned on the time that the $420 value was a pot joke to impress his then-girlfriend Grimes — has not too long ago claimed that he did certainly have backing from Saudi traders to fund a buyout of Tesla.

Musk is asking US Judge Alison Nathan to quash the subpoena and terminate the first-of-its variety consent decree. In a courtroom submitting final week, the SEC claimed that Musk’s lawyer, Alex Spiro of Quinn Emanuel, advised the company on Feb. 25 that Musk wouldn’t produce any paperwork concerning pre-approval or overview of his tweets.

“The intermittent nature of the SEC’s harassment underscores the [consent decree’s] chilling effect because it is impossible to know ex ante what tweets will raise the Commission’s ire,” Musk’s lawyer wrote in the Tuesday submitting. “Even the SEC seems unsure of what tweets require preclearance, leaving only two conclusions: the consent decree is unduly vague or the agency is pursuing its investigation in bad faith.”

Eminem performs on the halftime present of Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium on Feb. 13.

The SEC is reportedly investigating whether or not November inventory gross sales by Musk or his brother, Kimbal, a day earlier than he polled Twitter customers about whether or not he ought to offload 10 p.c of his Tesla stake violated insider-trading guidelines.

Last week, the SEC in asking the New York Federal Court to implement the subpoena mentioned it disagreed with Musk’s First Amendment arguments.

“This argument ignores the critical fact that Musk — represented by experienced, capable counsel — voluntarily consented to the entry of the court orders that established the preapproval requirement.”

“Musk cannot now cast [this] off simply because he has found complying with Tesla’s procedures to be less convenient than he had hoped, or because he wishes the SEC would not investigate whether Tesla’s disclosure controls and procedures are actually being maintained and followed,” the SEC added.

Judge Nathan is predicted to maintain a listening to on the matter in the subsequent few weeks, sources mentioned.

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