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U.S. SEC gets permission to respond to Elon Musk’s defense of Tesla tweet


FILE PHOTO: SpaceX founder Elon Musk looks on at a post-launch news conference after the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, carrying the Crew Dragon spacecraft, lifted off on an uncrewed test flight to the International Space Station from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, U.S., March 2, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Blake

(Reuters) – The top U.S. securities regulator received permission from a federal judge on Tuesday to respond to Tesla Inc Chief Executive Elon Musk’s arguments that his Twitter post about the electric vehicle maker’s production volume did not violate his recent fraud settlement.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has until March 19 to file a brief and U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan gave both parties until March 26 to request an evidentiary hearing.

The SEC had asked the court to hold Musk in contempt, saying his Feb. 19 tweet violated a September fraud settlement barring him from sharing material information about Tesla on social media without the company’s preapproval.

Reporting by Jan Wolfe in Washington; Additional reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Writing by Lisa Shumaker; Editing by Leslie Adler, Jonathan Oatis and Sonya Hepinstall



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