(PatrioticPost.com)- The group of Tesla shareholders suing Elon Musk over a 2018 tweet have asked a federal judge to impose a gag order on Musk to stop him from commenting on the lawsuit.
Attorneys representing the plaintiffs also note that the judge in the case ruled that Musk’s claim in the 2018 tweet of having secured the funding to take Tesla private was false and his recent comments on the issue violated a 2018 settlement with the SEC.
While appearing at the TED2022 conference in Vancouver last week, Musk said that he had secured the funding to take Tesla private and claimed that “those bastards” from the SEC forced him into the settlement because banks threatened to stop providing capital if he refused.
In court filings submitted on Friday, the plaintiffs’ attorneys alleged that Musk’s public comments were an attempt to influence potential jurors in the lawsuit. The shareholders are suing Musk claiming his 2018 was written to manipulate the stock price, costing shareholders money.
In their filing, the lawyers claim Musk’s comments may confuse potential jurors with the “false narrative” that he did not “knowingly” lie in his 2018 tweet. They claim that Musk’s recent comments are “an unsubtle attempt to absolve himself in the court of public opinion.”
They want the judge in the case, San Francisco Judge Edward M. Chen to order Musk to refrain from making any further public remarks on the case until after the trial.
Alex Spiro, who is representing Musk in the suit said in a statement on Sunday that the plaintiffs’ attorneys are “trying to make a buck” while attempting to “block the truth from coming to light.” Spiro reiterated that Musk was considering taking Tesla private and had the means to do so.
In the 2018 tweet, Musk said he had secured the funding to take Tesla private at $420 a share. The tweet, sent in the middle of a trading day, caused the Tesla stock price to increase 11 percent to $379.57 a share.
Afterward, the SEC launched an investigation into Musk and Tesla. Eventually, they reached a settlement in which Musk agreed to step down as chairman of the board and pay a $20 million fine. Tesla agreed to pay an additional $20 million fine. Musk also had to agree to pre-clear any tweets about Tesla’s stock price with in-house counsel.
Alex Spiro has already asked a Manhattan federal court to toss out the SEC agreement, arguing that the SEC is using the settlement and its “near-limitless resources” to chill Elon Musk’s free speech rights.