Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX,
Omar Marques | Getty Images
A federal judge has ordered Elon Musk to testify again in the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s investigation into his $44 billion takeover of Twitter, giving the regulator and the billionaire a week to agree on a date and location for the interview.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler’s order, issued Saturday evening, formalized a preliminary ruling she made in December that sided with the regulator.
The SEC sued Musk in October to compel the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX to testify as part of an investigation into his 2022 purchase of Twitter, the social media giant he later renamed attend an interview in September that was part of the investigation, the SEC said.
The agency is examining whether Musk followed the law when filing required documents regarding his Twitter stock purchases, and whether his statements about the deal were misleading.
Musk objected to the SEC’s attempt to interview him, saying it had already done so twice, and accusing the regulator of harassment.
Beeler rejected this argument. The SEC had the authority to issue a subpoena, which requested relevant information, it said in the ruling.
If the SEC and Musk cannot agree on a date and time for the interview, Beeler said she will hear from both parties and decide for them.
Friction between Musk and the SEC began when the regulator sued him after he tweeted “funding secured” in 2018 in reference to a possible plan to take Tesla private. To settle the matter, Musk agreed to have a Tesla lawyer review his tweets about the electric vehicle maker. The SEC sued him again in 2019 for allegedly violating this provision.
Musk has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review the deal, saying it violates his constitutional right to free speech.