In this photo illustration an effigy of Elon Musk is seen on a mobile device with the X and Twitter logos in the background on July 23, 2023 in Warsaw, Poland.
Jonathan Raá | Nurfoto | fake images
tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk must testify in a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission investigation into his 2022 acquisition of Twitter, a U.S. judge ordered in a court appearance Saturday.
As CNBC previously reported, the SEC is investigating whether Musk, or anyone else, committed securities fraud in 2022 when the billionaire began buying shares in Twitter and accumulating a stake before his leveraged buyout of the social media company.
Musk closed the acquisition of Twitter in October 2022 in a deal worth approximately $44 billion and has since rebranded it as X.
In the February 10, 2024, order, federal Judge Laurel Beeler wrote that although Musk and his legal team argued that the SEC's subpoena in this matter amounted to harassment of the billionaire, the federal financial regulator was “within its authority.” and his subpoena was “final and seeks information relevant” to his investigation.
The federal financial regulator and Musk now have a week to set the date and location of their testimony.
Musk, his lawyer Alex Spiro and the SEC did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Musk has repeatedly sought to challenge, if not strip away, the authority of federal regulatory agencies.
For example, he has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to undo a settlement he and Tesla previously reached with the SEC. The agreement required Musk to have a “Twitter caretaker” approve his tweets about his electric vehicle business before posting them. Musk's lawyers have argued that the agreement established an unconstitutional condition for Musk and amounts to a violation of his right to free speech.
In another example, Musk-led defense contractor SpaceX sued the National Labor Relations Board after the federal agency filed a complaint against the company alleging that the rocket maker illegally fired employees who signed an open letter criticizing Musk. . The letter said, among other things, that Musk's “behavior in the public sphere is a frequent source of distraction and embarrassment for us.”
SpaceX filed its lawsuit against the NLRB in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas in Brownsville. SpaceX lawyers argued in their lawsuit that the very structure of the federal labor board violates the U.S. Constitution. Their lawsuit resembles another filed by a former Starbucks employee against the NLRB and seeks to prevent the NLRB's earlier complaint against SpaceX from moving forward.
Read the full to enforce compliance here.