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Elon Musk ordered to testify in SEC probe of Twitter purchase

A federal judge ruled that Elon Musk must testify in the Security and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) investigation into his purchase of Twitter, now named X, following through on a threat made in December. 

Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler ordered late Saturday that Musk and the SEC must agree to a time and place to conduct a deposition within a week, continuing a feud between Musk and the regulatory agency over his $44 billion Twitter purchase.

Musk has resisted complying with the investigation, which questions the billionaire’s 2022 purchase and subsequent attempts to back out of a deal to buy Twitter. Musk was eventually forced to go through with the massive sale. The SEC has not alleged any wrongdoing.

The company’s value has plummeted since the purchase, with a majority of the platform’s advertisers leaving due to Musk relaxing content moderation policies and promoting antisemitic statements.

When the SEC demanded he sit for a third deposition for their investigation in September, he refused, instead arguing the agency has no authority to force him to answer questions. The SEC sued Musk to force his testimony the next month.

Beeler dismissed Musk’s claims of the SEC lacking authority, noting the agency in fact can enforce depositions with subpoenas. She also said demanding testimony is not “unduly burdensome” to Musk.

Musk also faces a separate dispute with the SEC over a 2018 agreement that he limit public communications about his companies. Musk claims the agreement was an unjust limit on his free speech rights. A federal appeals court threw out a suit against the agency last year, which he appealed to the Supreme Court in December.

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