Elon Musk must testify in an SEC investigation into his takeover of Twitter
An image of Elon Musk on a mobile device with the X and Twitter logos in the background is seen in this July 23, 2023 photo in Warsaw, Poland.
Bird Raa | Nurphoto | Getty Images
Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk must testify in an investigation by the US Securities and Exchange Commission regarding his acquisition of Twitter in 2022, a US judge ordered in a court issued on Saturday.
As previously reported by CNBC, the SEC is investigating whether Musk, or anyone else, committed securities fraud in 2022 when the billionaire began buying stock on Twitter, and building stakes before he bought the social media company.
Musk closed his purchase of Twitter in October 2022 in a deal worth about $44 billion, and has since rebranded X.
In the order dated February 10, 2024, federal judge Laurel Beeler wrote that while Musk and his legal team argued that the SEC’s subpoena in this case was harassment of the billionaire, the federal financial regulator “within its authority,” and their subpoena was “certain, and seeking information relevant” to their investigation.
The federal financial regulator and Musk now have a week to set a date and place for his testimony.
Musk, his attorney Alex Spiro and the SEC did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Musk has repeatedly tried to challenge if it does not draw authority from federal regulatory agencies.
For example, he has asked the US Supreme Court to overturn a settlement agreement he and Tesla previously filed with the SEC. The settlement required Musk to have a “Twitter sitter” approve his tweets about his electric vehicle business before posting them. Musk’s lawyers have argued that the agreement imposed an unconstitutional position on Musk and is a violation of his free speech rights.
In another example, the Musk-led defense contractor SpaceX sued the National Labor Relations Board after the federal agency filed a complaint against the company alleging that a manufacturer fired Rocket employees illegally signed an open letter criticizing Musk. The letter said, among other things, that “Musk’s behavior in the public arena is often a source of concern and embarrassment to us.”
SpaceX filed its lawsuit against the NLRB in the US District Court for the Southern District of Texas in Brownsville. SpaceX lawyers argued in their suit that the structure of the federal labor board violates the US Constitution. Their suit is similar to another brought by a former Starbucks employee against the NLRB, and seeks to block the NLRB’s complaint against SpaceX from move forward.
Read the full order to compel compliance here.