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Elon Musk’s Next Drama: His Tesla Tweets Tried

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Still grappling with the fallout from a company he did privatize, beleaguered billionaire Elon Musk is now on trial over a company he didn’t.

Long before Musk bought Twitter for $44 billion in October, he set his sights on Tesla, the electric car maker, where he continues to serve as CEO and from whom he derives much of his wealth and fame.

Musk stated in an August 7, 2018 tweet that he had lined up funding to pay for the $72 billion Tesla buyout, which he then reinforced with a subsequent statement that made the deal inevitable.

But the ransom never took place, and now Musk will have to explain his actions under oath in federal court in San Francisco. The trial, which begins Tuesday with jury selection, was sparked by a class-action lawsuit on behalf of investors who owned Tesla stock for 10 days in August 2018.

Musk’s tweets at the time triggered a surge in Tesla stock prices that abruptly ended a week after it became apparent he didn’t have the funds to buy back after all. This led him to abandon his plan to take the automaker private, leading to a $40 million settlement with U.S. securities regulators that also required him to step down as chairman of the company.

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