US Treasury Department officials are now determining whether they have the legal authority to open an investigation into Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter, due to the Tesla CEO’s ties to foreign investors and governments.
People familiar with the matter – who spoke on condition of anonymity – told the Washington Post that under the terms of Musk’s takeover, foreign investors could have access to confidential information about Twitter’s finances, and possibly users of the social media platform.
The sources added that FBI officials have also been looking at potential counterintelligence risks posed by Musk’s purchase of Twitter. It is not known, however, if any of them were senior FBI officials or if these discussions are still active.
Additionally, treasury officials at the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) have not yet determined whether Musk’s takeover could trigger a national security review, one person noted.
CFIUS reviews are typically used to investigate investments by foreign nationals, and Musk is a US citizen, so it’s unclear if they can launch such a review.
The Washington Post also noted that the US government considering whether it can review a deal like Musk’s is “pretty routine” and often does not result in “full reviews.”
“CFIUS is committed to taking all necessary actions within its authority to safeguard the national security of the United States,” a Treasury spokesperson said. “Consistent with law and practice, CFIUS does not publicly comment on transactions that it may or may not review.”
Musk completed his takeover 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’s offices to formally confirm the takeover of his company after the $44 billion purchase agreement closed. Musk previously announced plans to cut Twitter’s staff from around 7,500 employees to just over 2,000.
Musk appeared to decide to start at the top of the company and quickly fired top executives including CEO Parag Agrawal, CFO Ned Segal and Vijaya Gadde, head of legal, trust and safety policy. The company’s general counsel, Sean Edgett, was also fired according to sources and all were quickly escorted out of the company’s offices in San Francisco.
This would seem to confirm Musk’s previous claims that he was planning to take Twitter in a whole new direction and was unhappy with the current direction, which Musk has publicly criticized on several occasions. Musk took issue with former executives’ decisions on content moderation and product direction, as well as criticism of measures such as former President Donald Trump’s ban.
Breitbart News will continue to report on Elon Musk’s reign as the new owner of Twitter.
You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Facebook and Twitter at @ARmastrangeloand on Instagram.