Judge orders Elon Musk to testify in SEC probe over Twitter purchase

A judge said on Saturday that Elon Musk must testify in a Securities and Exchange investigation into his purchase of Twitter. File Photo by Ismael Mohamad/ UPI
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Feb. 12 (UPI) -- A federal judge ordered Elon Musk to testify in an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission in connection with his purchase of the social media platform formerly known as Twitter.

San Francisco-based-U.S. Magistrate District Judge Laurel Beeler said Saturday the SEC was within its authority to subpoena Musk and seek "relevant information "to their investigation" about the deal to acquire the company he has since rebranded as "X."

Beeler gave the SEC and Musk one week to come up with a date and location for the interview.

The SEC is currently investigating a securities fraud case tied to Twitter's purchase in 2022. Musk eventually bought the social media website for $44 billion.

The agency accuses Musk of breaking an agreement it reached about his Twitter posts that violated securities laws. Musk has since rejected the agreement, saying it violates his right to free speech.

Musk had told the court that the SEC investigation was "overkill" that was "baseless and harassing and seeks irrelevant information."

Last October, the SEC sued Musk to compel him to testify in the Twitter sales investigation. Musk had refused to appear with the SEC a month earlier in defiance of the agency's subpoena. The SEC said Musk had actually agreed to appear numerous times before but failed to appear.

She noted that a date had been previously established but Musk "did not appear and resists the subpoena on the grounds that the SEC's investigation is baseless and harassing and seeks irrelevant information."

She added that the SEC has broad power in issuing subpoenas and the information was relevant to the case.