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Elon Musk under federal investigation, court filing reveals

Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images

In a court filing released Thursday, Twitter's attorneys alleged that Elon Musk is under federal investigation regarding his $44 billion deal with the social media platform.

Twitter sued Musk shortly after he announced in July that he wanted to back out of purchasing the social media platform. Musk said he was no longer interested in closing the deal because Twitter refused to disclose information about fake accounts on the social media site.

Twitter's lawsuit was halted on October 6 by Delaware Judge Kathaleen McCormick after Musk reversed his decision and said he would like to go through with purchasing the platform. The judge ruled that Musk has until October 28 by 5 p.m. to close the deal. If the deal is not completed by then, a trial date will be set for November.

That same day, Twitter's attorneys submitted the court filing accusing Musk of being under investigation.

According to Bloomberg, the Thursday filing read, "Elon Musk is presently under investigation by federal authorities for his conduct in connection with the acquisition of Twitter."

It did not specify why Musk was being investigated or which federal organization was performing the investigation.

As part of Twitter's complaint, it requested that Musk and his team hand over correspondence they have had with federal authorities. Twitter's attorneys even listed specific dates for communication between the parties that they would like Musk to provide.

Twitter told Judge McCormick that Musk's team refuses to turn over certain documents, citing "investigative privilege." The court filing read, "This game of 'hide the ball' must end."

"Through counsel, he has exchanged substantive correspondence with those authorities concerning their investigations," the company's attorneys wrote.

According to Twitter, Musk's attorneys provided a "privilege log" identifying materials to be withheld, including an email on May 13 from Musk's team to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and a slide presentation to the Federal Trade Commission.

The SEC previously questioned Musk concerning his comments about the deal with Twitter, including why he indicated he would be a passive shareholder. As a result, Musk refiled a new disclosure stating he would be an active shareholder.

An attorney for Musk, Alex Spiro, told Reuters that the social media company's filing was a "misdirection." He noted, "It is Twitter's executives that are under federal investigation."

Twitter and the FTC declined to comment on the matter, and the SEC did not immediately respond, Reuters reported.

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