>> Elon Musk's bombshell tweet last month about taking Tesla private has set off an investigation by the US Justice Department. Tesla confirming Tuesday that it's received a voluntary request from the DOJ for documents and that the company is cooperating. Tesla added that it hasn't received a subpoena, a request for testimony, or any other formal process, and it believes the matter should be quickly resolved.
The statement by Tesla came in response to a report that the company and CEO Musk were under criminal investigation by the DOJ. It's not yet clear how advanced the investigation is and whether it will lead to criminal charges. Reuters' Senior Financial Regulation Correspondent, Michelle Price.>> With respect to pursuing these types of investigations, the DOJ has actually jailed people in the past for market manipulation and insider trading.
And in this instance, former SEC and DOJ officials are kind of making the case that for the DOJ to really pursue jail time for anyone concerned, whether it's Musk or anybody else, they would need to show that that was some kind of intent to manipulate the market. Which is a much higher bar than the SEC case, where the SEC would just need to proof on a civil basis that he had just been negligent.
So there's definitely a much higher bar when it comes to the DOJ case.>> The stock was down over 3% in afternoon trading. Since his now infamous tweet from last month, Must has scrapped the plan to take Tesla private, but his tweet continues to hunt the company. The US Securities and Exchange Commission is also probing the tweet, and short sellers are suing.
Musk has been under intense pressure to prove he can deliver consistent production numbers for Tesla's Model 3 sedan, crucial to the company's future. And his recent erratic behavior, including smoking pot on a video webcast, has raised concerns about his leadership. Musk also learned this week he's being sued for defamation for his tweet that falsely suggested a British cave diver who helped rescue a boys soccer team and their coach from the cave in Thailand was a pedophile and child rapist.