Treasury Department Wants to Put Elon Musk’s Twitter Buyout Under a Microscope

Officials at the U.S. Treasury Department are now determining if they have the legal authority to start an investigation into Elon Musk buying Twitter, due to the Tesla CEO’s ties to foreign investors and governments.

People familiar with the matter — who spoke on the condition of anonymity — told the Washington Post that under the terms of Musk’s buyout, foreign investors could have access to confidential information about Twitter’s finances, and possibly the social media platform’s users.

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen speaks to journalists on the sidelines of a meeting of finance ministers and central bankers from the Group of Seven industrialised nations (G7) on May 18, 2022 in Koenigswinter near Bonn, western Germany.  (Photo by INA FASSBENDER/AFP via Getty Images)

US President Joe Biden speaks at a reception for the Pennsylvania Democratic Party in Philadelphia on October 28, 2022. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP) (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

The sources added that officials at the FBI have also looked into the potential counterintelligence risks posed by Musk’s Twitter purchase. It remains unclear, however, whether any of them were senior FBI officials or if those discussions are still active.

Additionally, Treasury employees at the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) have not yet determined whether Musk’s buyout could trigger a national security review, one person noted.

CFIUS reviews are typically used to investigate investments by foreign nationals, and Musk is a U.S. citizen, so it remains unclear whether they can initiate such a review.

The Washington Post also noted that the U.S. government exploring whether it can review a deal like Musk’s is “fairly routine,” and oftentimes does not result in “full-blown reviews.”

“CFIUS is committed to taking all necessary actions within its authority to safeguard U.S. national security,” a Treasury spokesperson said. “Consistent with law and practice, CFIUS does not publicly comment on transactions that it may or may not be reviewing.”

Musk completed his buyout of Twitter on October 27, immediately firing the company’s top executives.

As Breitbart News reported:

The Washington Post reports that on Thursday, Elon Musk arrived at Twitter offices to officially confirm his company takeover after the $44 billion purchase deal closed. Musk had previously stated plans to cut Twitter’s staff of approximately 7,500 employees to just over 2,000.

Musk appeared to decide to start at the top of the company and promptly fired top executives including CEO Parag Agrawal, CFO Ned Segal, and Vijaya Gadde, head of legal policy, trust, and safety. The company’s general counsel, Sean Edgett, was also let ago according to sources and all were promptly escorted out of the company’s offices in San Francisco.

This would appear to confirm Musk’s previous claims that he planned to take Twitter in an entirely new direction and was unhappy with current management, which Musk has publicly criticized on multiple occasions. Musk has taken issue with the former executives’ decisions relating to content moderation and product direction, as well as criticizing moves such as the banning of former President Donald Trump.

Breitbart News will continue to report on Elon Musk’s reign as new owner of Twitter.

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Facebook and Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, and on Instagram.

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