Twitter’s Attorneys Assert that Elon Musk Intended to Cancel the Agreement Due to “World War 3,” Not Bots!

Twitter's Attorneys Assert that Elon Musk Intended to Cancel the Agreement Due to "World War 3," Not Bots!

The company’s legal dispute with Elon Musk has already been complicated by the whistleblower complaint made by Twitter’s former head of security. Elon Musk’s legal team and Twitter’s legal team appeared in court on Tuesday for a hearing to decide if Pieter “Mudge” Zatko’s allegations may be included in Elon Musk’s legal defense of his decision to back out of his $44 billion purchase of Twitter.

Notably, the meeting was one of the first occasions a Twitter employee addressed Zatko’s allegation in public. Twitter has mostly avoided commenting on the veracity of the allegations in the two weeks since Zatko went public.

Twitter’s attorneys presented Zatko as a dissatisfied worker throughout the hearing, claiming that he “was not in command of spam at Twitter” and that he had a “big axe to grind” with the business.

He was accused of “crafting his whistleblower complaint to relate it to the merger deal,” according to the accusation. (Zatko’s attorneys earlier claimed that their client didn’t go public to “help Musk.”) Notably, Twitter’s attorneys chose not to address allegations that its shoddy security procedures may have compromised national security or that CEO Parag Agrawal instructed Zatko to lie to the board of directors.

Prior to the public disclosure of Zatko’s case, Twitter’s attorneys did imply that Musk was looking for justifications to scuttle the deal. At one point, Twitter’s legal counsel cited a text message Musk wrote to his Morgan Stanley banker on May 3rd:

“Let’s ease down for a few days… If we’re headed for World War 3, it won’t be prudent to purchase Twitter, Musk said, as read aloud by Twitter’s attorney. “Mr. Musk didn’t want to buy Twitter for this reason; everything you’re hearing about the bots, mDAU [monetizable daily active users], and Zatko is just a pretext,”

Twitter's Attorneys Assert that Elon Musk Intended to Cancel the Agreement Due to "World War 3," Not Bots!

On the other hand, Zatko was hailed by Musk’s legal team as a “decorated” CEO who had previously been given a post in the US government. According to them, Twitter purposefully withheld harmful material and Musk had “nothing to do” with Zatko’s whistleblower allegation.

But it’s not clear if it will be enough to persuade the judge in this particular case. The court made a sharp comment about Musk’s choice to forego performing due diligence before approving the acquisition during one conversation.

Musk’s attorney questioned, referring to Zatko’s whistleblower claim, “Why didn’t we discover this with diligence?” “That’s why,” said the speaker. The judge replied, “Well, we’ll never know, right? Because the diligence was lacking.

The more than three-hour-long session was concluded by Musk’s attorneys saying that “it’s not us producing this mess or this delay,” in an effort to get the October trial postponed.

He reportedly made an unprompted allusion to a tweet Musk sent to Agrawal on May 16: “Nobody at Twitter is holding all hands on meetings today over the poop emoji from two months ago.”

All-hands meetings are being held today at Twitter because a highly regarded executive said that the company was engaging in fraud. Is that our fault? We have turmoil like that, right? That is their commotion.


Kimberly is a freelance writer with a love of writing and traveling. She has been writing for most of her life and has been published in various magazines and online publications. She writes about entertainment, technology, and lifestyle-related topics at Kimberly is always looking for new writing opportunities and loves learning about new cultures and experiences.

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