A US federal judge has issued an order requiring Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, to provide further testimony in the ongoing investigation by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regarding his acquisition of Twitter (now known as X), valued at $44 billion. The order, announced by US Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler on Saturday evening, formalises a previous tentative ruling made in December, which favoured the SEC’s position.
The SEC initiated legal action against Musk in October, seeking his testimony as part of an inquiry into his purchase of Twitter in 2022, subsequently rebranded as X. Musk had declined to participate in a scheduled interview in September, prompting the SEC’s lawsuit.
The investigation focuses on whether Musk adhered to legal requirements in disclosing his acquisition of Twitter shares and whether his public statements regarding the transaction were accurate.
Musk Accuse SEC Of Harrasment
In response to the SEC’s efforts to interview him, Musk contested the subpoena, asserting that he had already been questioned twice and accusing the SEC of harassment. Judge Beeler dismissed Musk’s objections, affirming the SEC’s authority to issue the subpoena and emphasising its relevance to the investigation. Should Musk and the SEC fail to reach an agreement on the timing and location of the interview, Judge Beeler has indicated her readiness to arbitrate the matter.
This development marks another chapter in the ongoing legal dispute between Musk and the SEC, which originated from Musk’s tweet in 2018 claiming “funding secured” for taking Tesla private. Following that incident, Musk entered into a settlement agreement with the SEC, agreeing to have his Tesla-related tweets vetted by a company lawyer. However, the SEC filed a subsequent lawsuit in 2019, alleging that Musk violated the terms of the agreement. Musk has petitioned the US Supreme Court to review the agreement, arguing that it infringes upon his constitutional right to free speech.