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Elon Musk has submitted a legal filing to a San Francisco federal court seeking to avoid compulsory testimony in the SEC’s investigation into his acquisition of Twitter.
The legal team representing Musk argued that the SEC’s demands for further testimony and documents related to his Twitter dealings exceed their investigative scope and are unnecessarily burdensome. Musk’s attorneys also described the inquiry as an overreach into “irrelevant evidence,” per the court documents filed on Thursday.
The Securities and Exchange Commission’s probe, initiated in April 2022, focuses on Musk’s Twitter stock purchases, his public statements, and SEC filings concerning the social media company, which he later renamed “X.” Musk has faced scrutiny from the SEC since revealing an over 9% stake in Twitter, a disclosure that came 11 days after the regulator’s deadline.
While initially indicating a passive interest in Twitter, Musk later made a $44 billion bid to acquire it. Despite an attempt to retract his offer, citing concerns about undisclosed bot activity, Musk completed the purchase in late October after legal challenges.
The dispute has brought to light the SEC’s extensive investigative efforts, including 32 subpoenas and multiple testimonies from Musk and others. Despite Musk providing documents and a previous video conference testimony, the SEC claims to have new evidence warranting further questions.
This legal contention adds to the history of tension between Musk and the SEC, which includes a 2018 lawsuit regarding Musk’s statements about taking Tesla private and a 2019 suit alleging Musk’s noncompliance with an earlier settlement. Musk has publicly criticized the SEC, planning to seek a Supreme Court review of the settlement, which imposes a review of his social media communications by a Tesla lawyer.