Elon Musk Brings 3-Year-Old Son to the Super Bowl Hours After Judge Orders Him to Testify in SEC's Twitter Probe
By Jace Dela Cruz
Feb 12, 2024 01:16 AM EST
Feb 12, 2024 01:16 AM EST
A federal judge in California has ordered tech billionaire Elon Musk to testify again in the US Securities and Exchange Commission's (SEC) investigation of his $44 billion takeover of Twitter, now known as X.
According to Reuters, US Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler's order, issued on Saturday evening, gives Musk and the SEC a week to agree on a date and location for the interview.
The order formalized the judge's tentative ruling last December that took the regulator's side. In October, the SEC filed a lawsuit against Musk to compel him to testify as part of a probe into his 2022 takeover of Twitter.
The Tesla and SpaceX CEO had refused to participate in a September interview related to the probe. The investigation focuses on Musk's compliance in filing the required paperwork concerning his purchases of Twitter shares and whether his statements about the deal were accurate.
In resisting the SEC's attempt to interview him, The Guardian reported that Musk's legal team said the billionaire would not appear as the SEC had leaked information to the media and that the investigation was frivolous.
The lawyers also said that document requests and another demand for testimony amid a probe that rose from the "accidental tardiness of a clerical filing" was a troubling move from the government.
Musk also accused the regulator of harassment, saying he already testified twice. However, Beeler rejected all these arguments, saying the SEC had the authority to issue a subpoena when seeking relevant information.
If Musk and the regulator cannot agree on a date and time for the interview, the judge noted that she will hear from both sides and decide for them. The dispute stemmed from a 2018 tweet wherein Musk said "funding secured" when trying to take Tesla private.
The SEC claimed it was a breach of securities laws prohibiting publicly traded firms from announcing plans to buy or sell securities if execs don't intend to finish off, don't have the means to finalize it, or are trying to manipulate the price of a stock.
In a settlement, the now Twitter owner agreed that a Tesla attorney would vet his tweets about the electric carmaker to settle that case. However, the SEC sued him again in 2019 for allegedly breaching the deal. Musk then asked the Supreme Court to review the agreement, stressing it violated his constitutional right to free speech.
In 2022, Musk was asked by the SEC for information on his Twitter stake's delayed disclosure, which was reported a week late, and the billionaire gave his testimony twice that year.
Elon Musk was spotted sitting in the front row with his youngest child at the Super Bowl LVIII in Las Vegas, Nevada, several hours after the judge ordered him to testify again in the SEC case.
According to the Daily Mail, Musk sat next to his three-year-old son, X AE A-Xii, with whom he shares with former partner and singer Grimes, on Sunday at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas. He was wearing black aviators, a T-shirt, and jeans.
Musk also introduced a football-themed "like" animation on X to celebrate the hype for this year's big game. This new feature on X replaced the traditional red heart icon for liking tweets with the Super Bowl LVIII logo.
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