Names of Elon Musk’s associates featured in Twitter recall


SAN FRANCISCO — Twitter is investigating Elon Musk’s associates and seeking other information in far-reaching legal requests about its $44 billion acquisition of the social media company, according to legal documents obtained by The Washington Post.

In a subpoena issued by Twitter on Monday, its legal team requested information about the identity of Silicon Valley’s elite, including investors Chamat Palahpetia, David Sachs, Steve Jurvetson, Mark Andreessen, Jason Calacanis and Keith Rabois, among others. Some numbers have not previously been named as involved in the deal, indicating a widening Twitter search for information to support its legal attempt to force Musk to go ahead with his deal to buy the company.

Twitter declined to comment. Palihapitiya, Sachs, Calkanis, Jurvetson and Rabois did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Musk and two of his lawyers did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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Flood of document requests issued over the weekend As of Monday, it represented the latest development in the contentious and fast-moving court case between the social media service and Musk, who is trying to pull out of his bid to take over the company.

After Musk said he walked out of the deal last month — accusing Twitter of not being forthcoming about the amount of spam and bots on its service — Twitter sued Musk in a Delaware business court, known as Chancery Court. Musk, in turn, opposed Twitter on Friday. Twitter also issued subpoenas over the weekend to a group of banks involved in the deal, including Credit Suisse and Morgan Stanley.

The subpoena obtained by The Post includes extensive requests for communications, including “checklists, schedules, presentations, decks, organizational calls, meetings, notes and recordings” related to the financing of the deal.

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It was previously known that Calacanis and Andreesen were involved in financing aspects of the deal.

Monday’s subpoena asked The Post also specifically for any communications about spam and bots, as well as information about the All-In Summit 2022, an event in Miami held in May by Palihapitiya, Calacanis, Sacks and David Friedberg. Guys Together hosts a popular podcast and the summit was a podcast-related live event. Musk spoke at the event via video conferencing.

At the event, Musk telegraphed his concerns about the deal, saying, “The more questions I ask, the more concerns I have.”

Musk had tweeted a few days ago that the deal was “on hold” due to concerns about the percentage of spam or fake accounts on Twitter. He said at the conference that he might seek a lower price for the social networking site and accused Twitter of potentially misleading him about the percentage of fake accounts on the platform, likening the problem to buying a house with a termite problem.

Calacanis and Sacks are known to be Musk’s friends. Sacks worked with Musk when he ran PayPal, along with billionaire Peter Thiel, a friend of both. Rabois was also an executive at PayPal, a friend of Thiel’s. Jurvetson is an old friend of Musk who is a member of Musk’s SpaceX board of directors and served on the board of electric car company Tesla, which Musk chairs as CEO.

A subpoena has also been issued to investor Joe Lonsdale, a partner of Musk and Thiel who also spoke at the All-In event, He said on Twitter on Monday. Lonsdale declined to comment other than his tweet.

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In a tweet, Lonsdale described the subpoena as a “giant harassing fishing trip,” and said it had “nothing to do with this except for a few scathing comments.”

Lonsdale, Rabois, Sacks, and Thiel are also known to be politically right-leaning, operating in a conservative political orbit in which Musk has increasingly been involved, as previously reported by The Post.

Calacanis launched a pool known as a special purpose vehicle to raise money for the deal this spring, using a tool that brings small investors into a larger offering. It was intended to attract investors with a minimum of $250,000. Investors have been told to express their interest no later than May 11. Calacanis hosted Musk at the All-In Summit a few days later.

“There are two things Twitter might be looking for here. It would be the first thing Musk would say nice about Twitter to encourage people to get involved in equity financing,” Adam Badawi, a law professor at the University of California at Berkeley, who was not involved in the case, said in a text message. It is anything he has said that contradicts his public statements about robots.”

He added that investors targeted by the subpoenas may be forced to testify in court.

“Most venture capitalists have portfolio companies registered in Delaware, so they probably don’t want to get out of its courts,” Badawi said. “If there are documents or conversations related to this dispute, these subpoenas will likely lead to their exposure.”

Gerrit de Fink contributed to this report.

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