Musk Hires Williams & Connolly Chairman Dane Butswinkas in SEC Case

(Bloomberg) -- Elon Musk hired the high-powered Washington lawyer Dane Butswinkas to help clean up his mess with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

A day after Musk insulted the SEC in a tweet calling the agency the “Shortseller Enrichment Commission,” Butswinkas formally entered the case as Musk’s lawyer in Manhattan federal court. The tweet came after Musk agreed to settle the SEC suit, which grew out of tweets on Aug. 7 in which he talked about taking the company private. A judge is weighing whether to accept the accord.

Butswinkas is chairman of Williams & Connolly, a top litigation firm. Also defending Musk is Butswinkas’s partner, Steven Farina, chairman of the firm’s Accounting Malpractice and Securities Litigation and Enforcement practice groups.

Butswinkas represented former Jefferies & Co. trader Jesse Litvak, who was convicted twice of defrauding customers by lying about the prices of mortgage-backed securities in trades. Butswinkas handled the second trial. Both convictions were overturned on appeal.

He also represented Walt Disney Co.’s ABC television network in a defamation suit by Beef Products Inc. over news reports about a processed product ABC called "pink slime." That suit settled on confidential terms.

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