Intimidation at its Core: The Targeting of Elon Musk by the Biden DOJ

In a string of remarkable coincidences, President Joe Biden’s Department of Justice has taken a keen interest in all things Elon Musk.

The US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York is reportedly pursuing criminal charges against Musk, scrutinizing whether the Tesla CEO failed to disclose personal benefits he received from his car company.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the new inquiry centers around Tesla’s “Project 42,” an alleged plan for a weird glass home and structure that Musk talked about constructing in Texas but never built.

Which all sounds very much like a fishing expedition put on by a lawless, out-of-control, politically driven DOJ.

It is quite the happenstance that only last month, the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division also launched a bizarre suit against Musk’s SpaceX, alleging the company engaged in employment discrimination against non-US citizens.

Or, to put it more plainly, the Biden administration, which, as we speak, is overseeing a historic surge of illegal border crossings, is suing America’s most successful legal immigrants for failing to hire noncitizens.

Among other things, SpaceX, which has partnered with the US military on projects, produces rockets that are considered advanced weapons technology.

And so it hires people who can obtain security clearances.

As numerous commenters have pointed out, companies involved in comparable work, including Northrop Grumman, have used similar hiring practices.

Yet for some reason, the DOJ has singled out Musk.

(As it turns out, another place only US citizens can work is the Department of Justice.)

Now a suspicious person might point out it would likely not be above a DOJ that indicts the opposition party’s leading presidential candidate, regularly sues states to overturn laws it doesn’t like and prosecutes parents who protest school boards and teachers unions to target a powerful political opponent.

Just Wednesday, Attorney General Merrick Garland appeared before a congressional committee and frequently sounded indistinguishable from an MSNBC host.

Musk, who hardly operates like some greedy Gordon Gekko type — he doesn’t even own a house — has become a scathing critic of the administration.

After buying the social-media platform Twitter, he not only reinstated Donald Trump’s account but those of numerous other critics censored by the company’s previous regime, often at the request of government officials.

Musk’s championing of an open Internet and defense of free expression is certainly at odds with the administration’s censorious policies and goals.

But Musk has also opposed government COVID mandates, criticized the contemporary left’s “woke mind virus” and called the Democrats the party of “division and hate.”

Musk, who has 157 million followers on the platform he now calls X, has also long been at odds with one of the Democratic Party’s most important constituencies: unions.

In 2021, for example, Biden invited the CEOs of GM, Ford and Chrysler and the head of the United Auto Workers to celebrate the future of electric vehicles but not Musk, whose company Tesla not only sells more EVs than all three combined but is the only major EV maker not to lose money on every unit.


“Well, these are the three largest employers of the UAW, so I’ll let you draw your own conclusions,” explained then-White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki.

The conclusion is that everything in this administration has been infected by partisanship.

The real problem with the DOJ’s corrupt behavior is that even if Musk had engaged in wrongdoing, we would have absolutely no reason to trust that the criminal-justice system is acting as an independent or good-faith arbiter of the law.

Those are the consequences of the DOJ spending years targeting political opponents and protecting friends and family.

Musk, the world’s richest man, can afford to hire lawyers and defend himself against the DOJ persecution.

But these kinds of investigations aren’t only meant to intimidate him — they’re meant to intimidate anyone who gets out of line.

David Harsanyi is a senior editor at The Federalist.

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