Can the SEC Subpoena Elon Musk Over Tweets?
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) claims it has the legal authority to subpoena Elon Musk over his tweets.
The SEC announced that it’s investigating the Tesla CEO’s tweets from Nov. 6, 2021, in which he asked followers if he should sell 10% of his Tesla stocks.
Details came to light by way of the SEC’s response to Musk’s motion requesting a judge to throw out a 2018 agreement requiring his tweets to be pre-approved by a company attorney.
Alex Spiro, an attorney for Musk, alleged that the SEC used the agreement “to trample on Mr. Musk’s First Amendment rights and to impose prior restraints on his speech.”
SEC attorney Melissa Armstrong called Musk’s challenge “frivolous.”
“Courts have long recognized that ‘congress has vested the SEC with broad authority to conduct investigations into possible violations of federal securities laws and to demand production of evidence relevant to such investigations,’” Armstrong wrote.