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Elon Musk hits at SEC, DOJ amid suit to force testimony in Twitter probe

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Elon Musk claims the SEC and DOJ are abusing their regulatory powers for personal and political gain to receive punitive action.

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Elon Musk hits at SEC, DOJ amid suit to force testimony in Twitter probe

Elon Musk has called for a “comprehensive overhaul” of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission hours after the regulator sued Musk because it alleges he failed to testify in its probe relating to his $44-billion Twitter (now X) purchase last October.

The SEC is investigating if Musk’s purchase triggered securities laws, and an Oct. 5 filing by the regulator in a California District Court seeks to compel Musk to comply with an earlier SEC subpoena.

In an X post the same day, Musk suggested the SEC — along with the U.S. Department of Justice — should instead be the ones probed.

“A comprehensive overhaul of these agencies is sorely needed, along with a commission to take punitive action against those individuals who have abused their regulatory power for personal and political gain.”

“Can’t wait for this to happen,” Musk added, in response to a post outlining the various actions the U.S. government has taken against Musk-led companies.

A comprehensive overhaul of these agencies is sorely needed, along with a commission to take punitive action against those individuals who have abused their regulatory power for personal and political gain.

Can’t wait for this to happen.

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 5, 2023

Asked by an X user if such a probe would ever happen, Musk responded, “I estimate the probability at 100%.”

The SEC said it subpoenaed Musk in May 2023 and required him to provide testimony at the regulator’s San Francisco office on Sept. 15, which Musk initially agreed to, the filing reads.

Two days prior, Musk “abruptly” notified the SEC he wouldn’t make an appearance and made several “spurious objections,” the SEC said.

The regulator said it tried to negotiate an alternative time and place for Musk’s testimony in “good faith,” but its efforts were met with Musk’s “blanket refusal.”

The SEC also claimed Musk’s objections lacked legal merit.

“None of Musk’s objections has any legal validity, and he has no justifiable excuse for his non-compliance with the SEC’s subpoena.”

X is among the most popular social media platforms for the cryptocurrency community, with one heated topic of discussion being the SEC’s regulatory approach to the crypto industry.

Related: The ‘Elon effect’ shows how opinion leaders shape the fintech market

Musk has been looking to integrate cryptocurrency payments on X in recent months, having obtained a currency transmitter license from Rhode Island’s regulator in late August.

Musk has taken shots at the SEC in the past, previously making his stance on the regulator clear in a December 2018 interview with 60 Minutes:

“I do not respect the SEC. I do not respect them.”

— Tesla Owners Silicon Valley (@teslaownersSV) October 5, 2023

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