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Photo: JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images

Elon Musk was in "blatant violation" of a settlement agreement and his defense against being held in contempt "borders on the ridiculous," the Securities and Exchange Commission said in a court filing Monday.

Details: The SEC alleges Musk violated the terms after tweeting on February 19 that Tesla would build 500,000 cars in 2019. He quickly clarified in another tweet the company would build at an annual rate of 500,000 cars by the year's end but it would only build 400,000 cars in 2019. His attorney told a federal last week Musk's tweet was "immaterial." Lawyers for the SEC found it "stunning to learn" Musk had not sought pre-approval for his tweets about Tesla in the months since the court-ordered pre-approval policy went into effect.

Go deeper: Pro Rata Podcast: Elon Musk's surprise settlement

What they're saying: “Musk’s contention — that the potential size of a car company’s production for the year could not reasonably be material — borders on the ridiculous,” lawyers for SEC wrote. “His interpretation is inconsistent with the plain terms of this court’s order and renders its pre-approval requirement meaningless."

What's next: U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan, sitting in Manhattan, will decide if Musk should be held in contempt of court and whether he should be punished.

Go deeper

Biden to sign 15 executive actions on Day One

President-elect Joe Biden. Photo: SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden is expected to sign 15 executive actions upon taking office Wednesday, immediately reversing key Trump administration policies.

Why it matters: The 15 actions — aimed at issues like climate change and immigration — mark more drastic immediate steps compared with the two day-one actions from Biden's four predecessors combined, according to incoming White House press secretary Jen Psaki.

Off the Rails

Episode 7: Trump turns on Pence

Photo illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photos: Elijah Nouvelage, Alex Wong/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. Axios takes you inside the collapse of a president with a special series.

Episode 7: Trump turns on Pence. Trump believes the vice president can solve all his problems by simply refusing to certify the Electoral College results. It's a simple test of loyalty: Trump or the U.S. Constitution.

"The end is coming, Donald."

The male voice in the TV ad boomed through the White House residence during "Fox & Friends" commercial breaks. Over and over and over. "The end is coming, Donald. ... On Jan. 6, Mike Pence will put the nail in your political coffin."

Big Tech's post-riot reckoning

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

The Capitol insurrection means the anti-tech talk in Washington is more likely to lead to action, since it's ever clearer that the attack was planned, at least in part, on social media.

Why it matters: The big platforms may have hoped they'd move to D.C.'s back burner, with the Hill focused on the Biden agenda and the pandemic out of control. But now, there'll be no escaping harsh scrutiny.