As the legal battle heats up, Elon Musk's associates on Twitter are subpoenaed

The company has subpoenaed a number of Elon Musk's associates, according to court filings and public statements.

As Tesla moves forward in a legal battle against the billionaire's attempt to void their $44 billion acquisition deal.

Those subpoenaed include several prominent investment firms and venture capitalists, some of whom are part of the so-called PayPal mafia.

A group of influential tech industry figures who worked at the payments company Musk co-founded.

Palantir's co-founder and former PayPal employee, claimed in a tweet this week that the subpoena was part of a "massive harassing fishing operation.

A former PayPal exec and Yammer founder responded to the subpoena by tweeting a magazine cover with a picture of a middle finger.

By sending subpoenas to investors and Musk's associates, Twitter has decided when the Tesla CEO will back out of the deal.

Shares of Tesla, which Musk is relying on in part to finance the deal, declined even after he agreed to the acquisition.