As Twitter desperately tries to fend off his hostile takeover bid, Elon Musk could be facing another potential battle with the federal government, with both the Securities And Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Department of Justice reportedly poised to launch an investigation targeting him.
News of potential looming federal probes of Musk, who has previously clashed with the SEC over his ownership of carmaker Tesla, came in a Wednesday report from Charles Gasparino of Fox Business Network. It was not clear whether the agencies are looking into Musk’s handling of Tesla, his $41 billion bid to take Twitter private, or both.
“Both the DOJ and the SEC are clearly scrutinizing this entire matter,” Gasparino said. “Now, we’re getting this from lawyers … they’re clearly monitoring and scrutinizing this entire issue, whether he filed the right forms, whether there’s a stock manipulation case here, whether he’s making public statements that he probably shouldn’t make. … What we do know is that he’s stirred up a regulatory hornets’ nest. DOJ, SEC, I’m getting this from lawyers who deal with them.”
The veteran business journalist said that the Justice Department faces a high bar for bringing a criminal case against Musk, but the SEC could have an easier time coming down on the world’s richest man if it can show he manipulated stock in companies in which he held stakes.
Gasparino tweeted on Thursday: “@elonmusk offers to buy the rest of @Twitter a legal source tells @FoxBusiness @SECGov and @TheJusticeDept have launched what he described as a ‘joint investigation’ into a myriad of Musk regulatory issues primarily involving @Tesla.”
Musk’s battle with the Securities and Exchange Commission date back to 2018, when the SEC filed a complaint targeting him after he announced he wanted to take Tesla private. Musk tweeted at the time, “Am considering taking Tesla private at $420. Funding secured.”
Reporting by The Daily Wire.