SEC sues to force Elon Musk to testify in Twitter probe

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission sued Elon Musk on Thursday in an effort to compel the billionaire to testify over his buy of Twitter final 12 months.

Attorneys representing the SEC alleged in a criticism filed in the Northern District of California that Musk failed to seem for a Sept. 15 testimony as required by a subpoena, which the attorneys stated was served to the Tesla CEO in May 2023.

Broadly, the SEC stated the investigation is tied to whether or not anybody dedicated securities fraud in buying Twitter shares final 12 months as Musk was shopping for inventory in the corporate. Musk closed his acquisition of Twitter, now often called X, in October in a deal price roughly $44 billion.

“Musk’s ongoing refusal to adjust to the SEC’s administrative subpoena is hindering and delaying the SEC employees’s investigation to decide whether or not violations of the federal securities legal guidelines have occurred,” the attorneys wrote in the criticism. “Accordingly, the SEC now asks the Court to compel Musk to seem for investigative testimony.”

The SEC stated it tried to discover an agreeable time and place to meet with Musk, together with providing to meet him on the company’s workplace in Fort Worth, Texas, “the closest SEC workplace to Musk’s present private residence” in the Austin space. Multiple dates had been proposed for October and November of this 12 months.

“These good religion efforts had been met with Musk’s blanket refusal to seem for testimony,” the go well with says.

A spokesperson for X did not instantly reply to a request for remark.

Lawyers for the SEC allege that Musk refused to adjust to the subpoena due to “a number of spurious objections, together with an objection to San Francisco as an applicable testimony location.” Musk had beforehand raised no objection to that location.

Additionally, the SEC attorneys declare that Musk believed that the fee was utilizing the subpoena as a technique to “harass” him, thus justifying his determination to not comply. Musk additionally allegedly used the current publication of his biography, written by the journalist Walter Isaacson, as another excuse to not seem for testimony, claiming that the guide might comprise “new info probably related to this matter.”

“The publication of Musk’s biography will not be a reliable foundation for Musk to keep away from compliance with a lawfully issued investigative subpoena,” the attorneys wrote in the authorized submitting. “In any occasion, Musk’s preliminary refusal to adjust to the subpoena has now offered his counsel with loads of time to evaluate the biography for any related info, and so this objection is now moot in addition to being legally inadequate from inception.”

The SEC stated in an announcement that its “employees is constant its fact-finding investigation and, to date, has not concluded that any particular person or entity has violated the federal securities legal guidelines.”

Watch: CNBC’s full interview with ‘Elon Musk’ author Walter Isaacson.

Watch CNBC's full interview with Elon Musk biographer Walter Isaacson

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