Elon Musk is bidding to end his massive deal to purchase Twitter. His lawyers have said now that the trial over whether he can get out of the $44 billion deal should be delayed by several weeks in order to investigate a whistleblower’s claims.
The lawyers said that the trial needs to be delayed by several weeks to allow the billionaire to investigate a whistleblower’s claims about security on the social media platform. The lawyers filed the request for a delay to the judge this week on Tuesday.
“Doesn’t justice demand a few weeks to look into this?” said Musk’s lawyer, Alex Spiro, at a hearing in Wilmington, Delaware.
Last month, whistleblower allegations became public that provided Musk brand new ammunition to bolster what legal experts said was a long-shot attempt to walk away from the deal without paying a $1 billion termination fee.
Musk is the richest person in the world.
Twitter’s former head of security, Peiter Zatko, a famed hacker known as “Mudge,” said in a complaint to regulators that the company falsely represented that it had a solid data security plan.
Twitter has dismissed Zatko’s allegations as a “false narrative.” The lawyer for the social media platform accused the billionaire on Tuesday of seizing on the whistleblower allegations to cover up the fact that he supposedly rushed into buying the company without assessing the risks.
“Mr. Musk is blaming Twitter for his failure to do customary due diligence,” said William Savitt, an attorney for Twitter.
He urged the judge to prevent Musk from adding whistleblower claims to his lawsuit but said if allowed, the five-day trial should begin on Oct. 17 as scheduled.
Musk has been trying to pull out of the deal since it was made.
Twitter’s lawyer Savitt read a message from Musk sent in early May to a banker that turned up in the litigation. It said: “it won’t make sense to buy Twitter if we’re heading into World War III.”
Savitt said it was evidence that Musk is looking for any way out of the deal and his initial claims about bots and fake accounts were merely a pretext to end the deal.
Twitter and Musk have sued each other. The company wants Chancellor Kathaleen McCormick of Delaware’s Court of Chancery to order Musk to buy the company for the $54.20 per share he agreed to in April.