A judge has ordered Elon Musk to testify for a third time as part of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s investigation into his $44 billion purchase of Twitter, now called X, in 2022.
Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler issued an order on Saturday giving Musk, his team and the SEC one week to agree on a date and location for Musk’s testimony. At a court hearing last December, Beeler said that if the two sides could not agree on when and where the Tesla and SpaceX CEOs would testify, she would issue an order.
“At least initially, the parties agreed to a date but ultimately the defendants did not appear and objected to the subpoena on the grounds that the SEC’s investigation is baseless and vexatious and irrelevant,” Beeler wrote in the order in northern federal court. Asking for information.” California.
“Further, they argue that the subpoena—issued by an SEC staff member appointed by the SEC’s Director of Enforcement—exceeds the SEC’s authority because it was not issued by an officer appointed by the President, a court, or the head of a department. As That’s required by the U.S. Constitution, he said.
However, Beeler said the court is enforcing the SEC’s subpoena and that the testimony is “not unduly burdensome” for Musk. The SEC had given Musk the option to testify in Texas, where he lives.
The SEC is conducting a fact-finding investigation into the period before Musk’s Twitter acquisition, when the San Francisco-based social media company was still publicly traded. The agency said it had not concluded that any federal securities laws had been violated.
Musk has already testified twice in this case. But since then, according to the judge’s order, the SEC has received “thousands of new documents” from various parties, including hundreds of documents from Musk.
After a months-long legal battle with the social media company’s previous leadership, he closed his $44 billion deal to buy Twitter and take it private in October 2022.
After signing a deal to acquire Twitter in April 2022, Musk tried to back out of it, leading the company to sue him to force the acquisition.
The SEC and Musk’s attorney did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment on Monday.
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