Elon Musk friends subpoenaed by Twitter for upcoming lawsuit

Twitter issued a number of subpoenas to associates of Elon Musk to gather more information ahead of a lawsuit against the Tesla CEO for backing out of a deal to purchase the social media platform.

One subpoena, obtained by The Washington Post and issued Monday, requests information on “checklists, timelines, presentations, decks, organizational calls, meetings, notes, recordings” related to Mr. Musk’s deal to purchase Twitter.

Those subpoenaed are also asked to provide any information regarding the discussion of bots and spam.

The individuals named in the legal request are some of the biggest names in Silicon Valley, including investors Marc Andreessen, David Sacks, Jason Calacanis and venture capitalist Chamath Palihapitiya.

Adam Badawi, a University of California law professor, said the social-media giant is likely searching for comparisons to Mr. Musk’s public statements, to determine whether they were made in good faith or bad.

“There are a couple of things that Twitter is probably looking for here. The first would be anything nice Musk said about Twitter to encourage people to participate in the equity financing. The second would be anything he said that contradicts his public statements about bots,” he told The Post.

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Some of those named in the subpoena were not originally believed to be involved in the deal.

However, Mr. Andreessen and Mr. Calacanis are both known to be involved. Mr. Calacanis started an investment pool, known as a special purpose vehicle, to help smaller investors contribute to the deal.

Joe Lonsdale, an associate of Mr. Musk’s, said he also was named in the subpoena despite never really being involved in the deal.

“I have nothing to do with this aside from a few snarky comments, but got a ‘YOU ARE HEREBY COMMANDED’ document notice,” Mr. Lonsdale said on Twitter.

The subpoenas are the next step in a heated legal battle between Twitter and the Space X and Tesla founder.

After Mr. Musk attempted to back out of the deal in July, citing the proliferation of bots on the platform, Twitter sued, which prompted the billionaire to file a countersuit against the company on Friday.

Mr. Musk reiterated his claims that Twitter misled him about their bot problem at the All-In Summit in May, hosted by Mr. Sacks, Mr. Palihapitiya and Mr. Calacanis.

Despite his accusations, Twitter has remained adamant about forcing the deal, imploring shareholders to support the deal.

“We are committed to closing the merger on the price and terms agreed upon with Mr. Musk,” chief Twitter executive Parag Agrawal said in a statement to investors.

The trial is set to start Oct. 17.





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