In the letter, Musk’s lawyers claimed the payment — said to have been made to Zatko and his lawyers on June 28 as part of a separation agreement — violated a provision of the acquisition contract. Twitter agreed not to provide any severance payments to employees in amounts outside “the ordinary course of business consistent with past practice,” according to the contract.
Musk first sent a letter to terminate the deal in July, alleging that Twitter violated the agreement by misrepresenting the number of spam and fake bot accounts on its platform. Twitter sued Musk to complete the acquisition, accusing the billionaire of using bots as a pretext to exit a deal that he developed buyer’s remorse over following a market decline.
The case between Musk and Twitter is scheduled to go to trial on October 17.
— CNN Business’ Clare Duffy contributed to this report