Elon Musk is suing to avoid testifying in a government probe of his $44 billion takeover of Twitter, since rebranded as X.
The billionaire filed his objections in San Francisco federal court Thursday, asking a judge to reject the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s attempt to elicit more testimony for an investigation it launched early last year.
Musk’s lawyers called the SEC subpoena “the latest in a litany of duplicative and harassing demands” made by the agency “under the guise of never-ending investigations into Mr. Musk and companies in which he holds leadership roles or financial stakes.”
In Musk’s filing, his attorneys call the SEC’s application overly burdensome and argue that it oversteps the agency’s authority by seeking “irrelevant evidence.”
The SEC launched its inquiry in April 2022 after Musk was 11 days late in disclosing stock buys that gave him a 9.2% stake in the social media site.
After initially casting himself as a passive stakeholder, Musk changed his tune later that month by announcing plans to buy Twitter for $44 billion—and then tried to wiggle out of the deal. But a lawsuit forced him to go through with the acquisition, which was finalized six months later, in October 2022.
All the while, the SEC continued investigating.
The agency only filed its subpoena this past month after it said Musk blew off an interview with investigators in September.
Musks’s attorneys characterize the SEC’s attempts to get him to testify as part of a yearslong “saga of harassment” that extends beyond the Twitter buyout.
The SEC also sued Musk in 2018 for social media posts claiming he secured funding to take his other company, Tesla, private. After reaching a settlement in that case, the agency sued him again the following year, claiming he violated the pact.
In objections filed Thursday in the Twitter probe, Musk’s lawyers say they’ll petition the U.S. Supreme Court to review the legality of that SEC settlement.
The SEC has defended its petition for testimony as well within its authority, saying it has more questions for Musk after receiving new documents in the investigation.
Jennifer Wadsworth can be reached at email@example.com