Tesla CEO Elon Musk thinks the Biden administration is pursuing multiple investigations into his companies because it may “have it in” for the mogul, who has been critical of the president as well as the Democratic Party.
Musk posted a brief note on his social media platform X in response to a Wall Street Journal editorial titled “The Harassment of Elon Musk.”
“Does the Biden Administration have it in for Elon Musk?” the Journal began the editorial, which it linked to on X, the site formerly known.
“Sure seems that way,” Musk replied Tuesday.
Musk, according to The Journal editorial, has become “Progressive Enemy No. 1” — a reference to the mogul’s frequent criticisms of Democrats, including President Joe Biden and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY).
The Journal’s editorial board called out the Biden administration for what it deemed to be “regulatory harassment” of Musk, whose portfolio of businesses include X, electric car maker Tesla, rocket-launching firm SpaceX, brain chip implanting company Neuralink and the tunnel-digging Boring Company.
“The Tesla CEO faces a remarkable number of government probes,” the Journal wrote Friday.
The Post has sought comment from the White House.
Last week, The Journal reported that the Justice Department opened a criminal investigation into alleged misuse of Tesla resources by Musk.
The probe is centered around a secret project involving a glass building that was initially thought to serve as a home for Musk near the Austin, Texas, headquarters of Tesla, according to The Journal.
The project, which entailed large orders of specially made glass, was investigated by the company’s board, resulting in the departure of several employees, according to The Journal.
“This would be next-level absurd,” Musk wrote last Wednesday in response to The Journal’s report of the Justice Department’s investigation.
“I’m not building a house of any kind anywhere.”
In its editorial, The Journal argued that “claims that Mr. Musk has leveraged his businesses to benefit his other business aren’t new.”
“Are the government’s investigations a wise use of prosecutorial resources?” the editorial board asked.
The Journal also cited “the dubious Justice complaint last month” against SpaceX, which is being sued for allegedly discriminating against asylum seekers by not hiring them for jobs.
SpaceX has denied the allegations.
In March, the Federal Trade Commission demanded that X, which was then known as Twitter, turn over internal communications related to Musk.
The FTC, led by antitrust crusader Lina Khan, also wanted Musk and Twitter to identify journalists who were granted access to company records.
Republicans accused the agency of waging “an aggressive campaign to harass” the social media company and making requests that “have no basis in the FTC’s statutory mission and appear to be the result of partisan pressure to target Twitter and silence Musk.”
The Securities and Exchange Commission is also investigating Tesla over its claims about its self-driving software, the Autopilot driver-assistance system.
SEC officials are considering whether Musk may have inappropriately made forward-looking statements, according to a report by Bloomberg News.
The report did not specify which specific statements or activities by Musk attracted the regulator’s attention.
The Post has sought comment from Tesla.
Another federal agency, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, is reportedly set to review SpaceX after fragments of a recently launched rocket allegedly caused environmental damage during takeoff.
The review could delay by months a scheduled launch of its Starship rocket, which needs formal approval by the Federal Aviation Administration.
The Post has sought comment from SpaceX.
“Opening an investigation may sometimes be pro forma when federal agencies receive a complaint,” The Journal’s editorial board argued.
“But the collection of probes into Mr. Musk’s ventures are unusual enough to suggest what the Justice Department likes to call a ‘pattern or practice’.”
“We doubt any order from on high has been sent, but it doesn’t need to be when a figure becomes Progressive Enemy No. 1,” according to The Journal editorial board.