Elon Musk under federal investigation for ‘conduct’ in Twitter takeover bid: report

Under the Biden administration, there seem to be few limitations on who may find themselves under federal investigation, and while media interest is in direct relation to the political implications of any such probe, there’s no hiding it when the world’s richest man is targeted.

The Tesla CEO is being investigated by federal authorities related to his $44 billion bid to acquire Twitter, according to a court filing from Twitter that has all the makings of a high-stakes game of cat and mouse.

The social media platform is trying to obtain documents from Musk related to the federal probe, with its legal team saying in the filing that Twitter first asked for the materials that “bear upon key issues in this litigation” on July 22 and that Musk’s legal team has failed to comply, citing “investigative privilege,” CNBC reported.

“Elon Musk is presently under investigation by federal authorities for his conduct in connection with the acquisition of Twitter,” the lawyers wrote in the court filing. “Through counsel, he has exchanged substantive correspondence with those authorities concerning their investigations.”

The Securities and Exchange Commission sent Musk a letter in June seeking information related to a tweet he posted in May indicating that the “deal cannot move forward” until the company provides him with more information about spam and fraud accounts on the platform, and the filing is in reference to the letter.

Musk agreed to buy Twitter in April, but backed away from the deal claiming that the company hadn’t been transparent about the number of bots and fake accounts on the platform, CNBC noted. This prompted Twitter to sue Musk in July to try and force him to close the deal, with an Oct. 17 trial date set. Last week, Musk suddenly agreed to purchase Twitter for the agreed-upon price of $54.20 a share, and a judge gave him until Oct. 28 to close the acquisition if he wants to avoid a trial.

Twitter is still pursuing the information, according to CNBC, with the company’s attorney saying that producing the documents will “create no real burden, because they are a discrete set of easily identifiable materials within the files of the attorneys who wrote, reviewed, or received them.”

“This game of ‘hide the ball’ must end,” the lawyers wrote.

Musk attorney Alex Spiro told Reuters that Twitter’s court filing was a “misdirection.”

“It is Twitter’s executives that are under federal investigation,” Spiro asserted.

Here’s a quick sampling of responses from Twitter… see if you can pick up on a theme:

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