Bird woes for Elon Musk – billionaire must testify in Twitter trial, court says

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A federal court in California is subpoenaing Elon Musk to testify before the US Securities and Exchange Commission regarding violations of federal securities laws related to his purchase of Twitter.

The court ruled that the evidence gathered was relevant and material to the SEC's investigation, and that the evidence Musk needed was not unduly burdensome, the court filed Friday. The two parties were directed to meet within a week to fix a date and place for testimony.

Musk testified twice before the SEC in half-day sessions in July 2022. But the agency, which has received “thousands of new documents” from various parties, including some authored by Musk, wants to ask him about the new information. According to Friday's filing, Musk's attorney agreed with the SEC to testify last September before requesting a one-day postponement of the meeting and later refusing to attend.

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The SEC is seeking information about Musk's purchases of Twitter stock prior to the company's purchase.

The Tesla CEO and co-founder, now known as X, whose Twitter acquisition is set to close in October 2022, has rejected the SEC's grounds for investigation, calling it baseless and seeking irrelevant information, according to court filings.

Musk also argued that the subpoena was issued by SEC staff appointed by the agency's director of enforcement, rather than by an officer appointed by the president, a court or the head of a federal department. The court on Friday rejected it, saying the subpoena was authorized by the Exchange Act.

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