Twitter Whistleblower Complaint Allowed in Musk Trial

Elon Musk can bring a Twitter Inc. whistle-blower’s complaint about spam and bots on the social media platform into his defense against the company’s lawsuit to make him complete his $44 billion buyout, a judge ruled.

Musk’s legal team is permitted “incremental discovery relevant to the new allegations” raised by the whistle-blower, Delaware Chancery Judge Kathaleen St. J. McCormick said in a five-page ruling on Wednesday.

Read More: ‘Egregious Deficiencies,’ Bots, and Foreign Agents: The Biggest Allegations From the Twitter Whistle-Blower

But McCormick denied Musk’s request to delay a trial of the case set for next month.

“I am convinced that even four weeks’ delay would risk further harm to Twitter too great to justify,” she wrote, maintaining the Oct. 17 date.

The rulings came a day after McCormick heard arguments on the matters from both sides.

Read more: What the Twitter Whistleblower Bot Disclosures Mean for Elon Musk

“We are hopeful that winning the motion to amend takes us one step closer to the truth coming out in the courtroom,” said Alex Spiro, Musk’s lead lawyer.

A Twitter representative didn’t immediately return an email seeking comment on the rulings.

The Tesla Inc. chief executive officer backed away from his planned purchase of Twitter, claiming the company hadn’t leveled with him about the number of spam and bot accounts among its more than 230 million users. The whistle-blower, former Twitter security head Peiter Zatko, said company officials brushed off his worries about such accounts and misled investors about the problem.

Lawyers for the billionaire cast Zatko’s accusations of shoddy operations as further violations of the buyout agreement.

Read more: The Twitter Whistleblower Needs You to Trust Him

In Tuesday’s hearing, Twitter’s attorneys for the first time specifically disputed Zatko’s assertions that he raised such questions while at the company. They said addressing the bots issue wasn’t part of his “portfolio.”

The case is Twitter v. Musk, 22-0613, Delaware Chancery Court (Wilmington).

—With assistance from Molly Schuetz.

Twitter Whistleblower Complaint Allowed in Musk Trial

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