Lose that associate or lose my company’s work.

That was reportedly the ultimatum that Elon Musk, the world’s richest man and CEO at Tesla, gave to a partner at Cooley regarding a former U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission lawyer whom the firm hired to work as an associate in its securities litigation and enforcement practice. According to a report in The Wall Street Journal over the weekend, the associate had no involvement in Cooley’s work for Tesla, but had previously interviewed Musk while at the SEC when the agency was investigating the CEO’s 2018 tweet saying he had secured funding to take the company private – a probe that resulted in a $20 million fine for Musk and an agreement that he would run tweets on certain topics past company lawyers.