(SNews) – Last week a report surfaced in the media that claimed Elon Musk was more powerful than the bureaucrats in Washington DC could stand. Days later The Department of Justice opened an investigation into Musk’s SpaceX.
Today we learn that the DOJ and the SEC are investigating Musk’s Tesla over a ‘glass house project’ that may be for Musk’s house. Elon famously sold all his homes over the years and lives in a tiny house near SpaceX or lives stays with friends.
According to The Wall Street Journal: Manhattan federal prosecutors are investigating Tesla’s use of company funds on a secret project that had been described internally as a house for Chief Executive Elon Musk, people familiar with the matter said.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York has sought information about personal benefits paid to Musk, how much Tesla spent on the project—which called for a spacious glass structure to be built in the Austin, Texas, area—and what it was for, the people said.
The Wall Street Journal was the first to report in July that Tesla board members had investigated whether company resources were misused on the secret effort, known internally as “Project 42,” and whether Musk was personally involved. The outcome of Tesla’s internal investigation couldn’t be learned.
The Securities and Exchange Commission has also opened a civil investigation into Project 42 and is seeking similar information from the company, one of the people said.
The SDNY and SEC investigations are in their early stages and may not lead to formal allegations of wrongdoing.
GOP Rep Matt Gaetz went after AG Merrick Garland after over the probe of SpaceX. Matt wrote:
“Last week, while much of America was fixated on the unlawful election interference in Fulton County, Georgia, your Civil Rights Division (CRD)—the lead election-law component at the Department of Justice (DOJ)—had other, apparently more important business to do.
“CRD filed a lawsuit against Space Exploration Technologies Corp., otherwise known as “SpaceX,” for complying with federal law and, specifically, because of this conduct: “SpaceX hired only U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents, from September 2018 to September 2020.”
“The vast majority of Americans would see Elon Musk as a patriot seeking to pay higher wages and protect sensitive defense-contracting work from foreign theft.
“And, in fact, you cite his company’s statements not as exonerating but rather as “facially discriminatory public statements.”
“Here is one tweet by Mr. Musk you cite in your complaint as “facially discriminatory: US law requires at least a green card to be hired at SpaceX, as rockets are considered advanced weapons technology
“As you surely know, 8 U.S.C. § 1324b exempts “discrimination because of citizenship status which is otherwise required in order to comply with law, regulation, or executive order, or required by Federal, State, or local government contract, or which the Attorney General determines to be essential for an employer to do business with an agency or department of the Federal, State, or local government.”
“Authoritatively, you note in paragraph 61 of your complaint that “No law; regulation; executive order; provision of Federal, State or local government contract; or Attorney General determination justifies SpaceX’s pattern or practice of hiring discrimination against asylees and refugees.”
“Thus, rather than proving in a court of law that SpaceX’s and Mr. Musk’s statements about their legal obligations were pretextual (i.e., that they had no reasonable belief that federal law required their practice) you appear poised to take mens rea entirely out of this equation.
“In order for the House Committee on the Judiciary, of which I am a member, to conduct oversight of this matter, please provide my office with the following by September 8, 2023:
(1) An exhaustive list of all laws, regulations, executive orders, and contracts that DOJ has reviewed in connection with this case.
(2) A sworn statement of the Attorney General that no state, federal, or local law, regulation, or contract prohibits producers of sensitive, military-grade dual-use technology from hiring asylees or refugees.
“Please also make yourself available to brief interested Members of Congress on this issue prior to your testimony on September 20, 2023.”
Elon Musk said: “DOJ needs to sue themselves.
“SpaceX was told repeatedly that hiring anyone who was not a permanent resident of the United States would violate international arms trafficking law, which would be a criminal offense.
“We couldn’t even hire Canadian citizens, despite Canada being part of NORAD! This is yet another case of weaponization of the DOJ for political purposes.”
The Justice Department and SEC are investigating Tesla's use of company funds on a secret project to build a glass house for CEO Elon Musk https://t.co/MX1REB1T9B
— The Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) August 30, 2023