Elon Musk Accused of Trying to ‘Distort’ SEC Twitter Investigation

The SEC has been investigating whether Musk violated federal securities law during his acquisition of the social media platform

As Elon Musk repeatedly refuses the SEC‘s bid to interview him as part of its investigation over the handling of his Twitter takeover, a new filing accuses the billionaire of attempting to “misrepresent the scope of the SEC’s investigation.”

In the SEC’s response to a motion filed by Elon Musk, the agency wrote that he “continues to distort the true scope of this investigation — his only hope for establishing that the SEC is not seeking relevant evidence” and that he “continues to misrepresent the relevance of his additional testimony.”

In October 2022, Musk closed his acquisition of Twitter (which he later rebranded to X) in a $44 billion deal. Before announcing his bid for the company, he quietly bought up Twitter shares, garnering a nine percent stake in the company. As The New York Times noted, SEC rules require investors who buy more than five percent of a company’s shares to disclose their stakes within 10 days of purchase — Musk allegedly missed this deadline, according to the agency. 

Last year, the SEC sued Musk in California federal court after he failed to appear for testimony on Sept. 15 as required by an investigative subpoena served by the agency. After Musk missed the date, the SEC said it tried to reschedule, but these “good faith efforts were met with Musk’s blanket refusal to appear for testimony.” The SEC also stated that Musk accused the agency of “using its subpoena power to ‘harass’ him,” a claim the federal financial regulator called “unsupported.”


On Feb. 10, a federal judge ordered Musk to testify, writing that although the X owner and his legal team argued the SEC’s subpoena amounted to harassment, the agency was “within its authority” and its subpoena was “definite, and seeks relevant information” to its probe.

Since the SEC launched its investigation into whether Musk followed the law when filing the required paperwork over his purchases of Twitter stock and whether he committed securities fraud, his testimony has still not taken place. The SEC alleged Musk was using “gamesmanship” to stall the probe, pointing out that while his legal team has claimed the investigation is an “unbounded investigation into an allegedly days-late SEC filing,” the agency “has repeatedly informed Musk that it is false.”