Twitter trial is still on, and Elon Musk probably deleted some Signal messages, judge says

The Twitter trial is still on, says Chancellor Kathaleen McCormick in a new legal filing this morning. The judge — who is supervising the bench trial where Twitter is attempting to force Elon Musk to buy the company for $44 billion, as he agreed to do in April — says she has not received any filings for a stay, and so the lawyers should press full-steam ahead.

Musk’s deposition is scheduled for tomorrow. One of the contentious issues in the case is whether Musk has turned over all records in his possession. In particular, Musk’s advocacy for privacy-focused messaging service Signal has led Twitter’s lawyers to suggest there are messages he should have turned over and didn’t.

In McCormick’s letter today, she says she believes Musk did use Signal. “I am forced to conclude that it is likely Defendant’s custodians permitted the automatic deletion of responsive Signal communications between them and possibly others, and that those communications are irretrievably lost,” she writes. Twitter has requested sanctions against Musk, but McCormick hasn’t decided on whether she’ll sanction him yet.

Yesterday, Musk filed a letter with the Securities and Exchange Commission saying that actually, he’ll complete the deal he initially negotiated — as long as Twitter drops its suit.