Elon Musk has been ordered to testify again as part of a U.S. regulatory investigation into his 2022 acquisition of social media platform Twitter (later renamed X).
A California federal court ruling announced on Saturday ordered Tesla and SpaceX chiefs to issue financial statements regarding the date, time and location of interviews after Musk refused to appear at a previous roundtable meeting in September. It gave the company one week to reach an agreement with the Exchange Commission (SEC).
In order, U.S. Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler Although the parties had agreed on an initial date, “the defendant (Musk) ultimately failed to appear in court and was subpoenaed on the basis that the SEC's investigation was baseless and harassing, seeking irrelevant information.” “I am resisting,” he said.
The SEC filed charges against Musk in October to compel him to testify as part of its investigation into the $44 billion acquisition now known as X. The committee is also seeking testimony from Musk about whether he complied with the law in preparing the required documents regarding his Twitter stock. Including the purchase, as well as whether his statements regarding the purchase of the platform were accurate.
According to the order, Musk's lawyers said he would not appear in court because regulators leaked information to the media. Musk's team also claims the investigation is frivolous, and the government's actions have been plagued by requests for documents and repeated requests for testimony in the face of the investigation “arising from an accidental delay in filing administrative filings.” said.
Beeler denied the allegations in pressing for an interview, saying regulators had the power to issue subpoenas for relevant information. If the SEC and Mr. Musk cannot agree on a date and time for the meeting, Mr. Bieler said he will listen to both sides and make a decision.
The move dates back to Musk's infamous 2018 tweet in which he said “funding is secured” as he tried to take Tesla private.
Regulators argued this was a violation of securities laws that prohibit publicly traded companies from announcing plans to buy or sell securities if executives do not intend to complete, do not have the means to complete, or seek to manipulate stock prices. .
In the settlement, Musk agreed to let Tesla's lawyers review his tweets about the electric car maker. But regulators again sued him a year later for allegedly violating the agreement. Musk later petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to review the agreement, arguing that it violated his right to free speech.
In 2022, regulators asked Musk for information about a delay in disclosing his Twitter stock, but Musk was delayed by a week. He testified twice that year, according to the SEC. Musk claims that the third interview constitutes “harassment” by the government.
This controversy is not the only conflict between Mr. Musk and the government. In November, he lost a bid to prevent the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) from continuing to oversee Company X's handling of personal user data.
Musk called for action from government agencies “This is a shameful incident in which a government agency is weaponized for political purposes and the truth is covered up!”