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Musk is under federal investigations, Twitter says in court filing

Elon Musk

(Reuters) — Elon Musk is being investigated by federal authorities over his conduct in his $44 billion takeover deal for Twitter Inc., the social media company said in a court filing released Thursday.

While the filing said he was under investigations, it did not say what the exact focus of the probes was and which federal authorities are conducting them.

Twitter, which sued Mr. Musk in July to force him to close the deal, said attorneys for the Tesla Inc. CEO had claimed “investigative privilege” when refusing to hand over documents it had sought.

In late September, Mr. Musk's attorneys had provided a “privilege log” identifying documents to be withheld, Twitter said. The log referenced drafts of a May 13 email to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and a slide presentation to the Federal Trade Commission.

“This game of ‘hide the ball’ must end,” the company said in the court filing.

The court filing, which asked Delaware Judge Kathaleen McCormick to order Mr. Musk's attorneys to provide the documents, was made on Oct. 6 — the same day that Judge McCormick paused litigation between the two sides after Mr. Musk reversed course and said he would proceed with the deal.

Alex Spiro, an attorney for Mr. Musk, told Reuters that Twitter's court filing was a “misdirection” and asserted: “It is Twitter's executives that are under federal investigation.”

Twitter declined to comment on Mr. Spiro's statement. It also declined comment when asked by Reuters about its understanding of any investigation into Mr. Musk.

The SEC did not immediately respond to a request for comment, and the FTC declined to comment.