Elon Musk accuses the United States of trying to ‘muzzle’ his freedom of expression Business

However, it sparked an SEC lawsuit and possible settlement after it became clear that Mr Musk had failed to secure funding.

Both Tesla and Mr Musk have been fined $20m (£14.8m) and told to seek legal advice before tweeting potentially sensitive information about Tesla, which is the the world’s most valuable automaker at $920 billion.

Although he forced him to resign as chairman, he found himself embroiled in skirmishes with the SEC in 2019 and 2020 over allegations that he violated their agreement.

The comment from Mr Musk’s lawyers comes after the SEC launched a new legal challenge in November which sought information on how he complied with their 2018 settlement.

On Thursday, US District Judge Alison Nathan questioned why a $40 million fund meant to compensate investors left out by Mr Musk’s tweets hadn’t paid out the money.

A company appointed by the SEC in May to distribute the money still has not filed an accounting statement, the judge said in a December order.

Pressure from the SEC has failed to dampen Mr. Musk’s criticism of the watchdog. He previously referred to the regulator as a “Short Seller Enrichment Commission”, while in 2020 he said: “SEC, three-letter acronym, the middle world is Elon’s.”

The Tesla privatization debacle has also been the subject of a lawsuit from JP Morgan, on the grounds that Mr Musk’s tweets violated a contract between Tesla and the bank.

Tesla responded by counter-suing the US investment bank for demanding $162.2 million for the disputed bond contract.

The electric car maker said: “JP Morgan pressed its exorbitant demand in retaliation against Tesla, both for ignoring JP Morgan in major business deals and out of animus from senior JP Morgan executives toward Mr. Musk.”

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This notice was published: 2022-02-17 18:25:14

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