Vivek Ramaswamy is trying to use his presidential campaign as an excuse to wiggle out of legal proceedings against him.
Ramaswamy was a board member of both Roivant Sciences, which he founded in 2014, and Sumitovant Biopharma until earlier this year. Sumitovant successfully negotiated to acquire Roivant subsidiary Myovant in October 2022. Under the deal, which was completed in March, Sumitovant agreed to pay $27 per share for all outstanding Myovant shares.
But soon after, the investment management firm Alpine Partners, a now-former Myovant shareholder, launched an appraisal rights lawsuit to determine that it and other shareholders had been fairly compensated for their stock. Alpine requested that Ramaswamy testify and provide materials about “how Sumitovant valued Myovant at the time of the merger and the negotiating process that led to the merger.” Alpine’s subpoena set Ramaswamy’s testimony for June 30; the filing also gave him a 30-day grace period to comply.
Ramaswamy responded on July 27, saying that he couldn’t possibly testify because he is too busy running for president.
“As a candidate for President of the United States, I must frequently travel across the United States to campaign, make speeches, give media interviews, and meet with voters,” he said in a court filing. “Consequently, I am often away from home, and when I am home it is often not until late in the evening after a full campaign day.”
“The subpoena request and resulting discovery would therefore constitute an undue burden and will materially affect my ability to run for higher office.”
Ramaswamy also insisted that he does not have “any material knowledge of the transaction that is the basis of the underlying Appraisal Proceeding.”
The judge has yet to rule on Ramaswamy’s motion. But Ramaswamy clearly thinks that he is above the law now that he is running for president.
Ramaswamy isn’t the only person using his campaign to avoid legal trouble. It seems he has taken the cue from Donald Trump, who is facing a mountain of lawsuits. He has repeatedly tried to set trial dates for well after the election, hoping that he will win and thus be immune from multiple cases.