Federal investigators are looking into the business operation behind former President Donald Trump’s new social media company, adding yet another front of potential legal vulnerability for the ex-president. Specifically, Digital World Acquisition Corp. (DWAC), which announced plans back in October to merge with the Trump Media & Technology Group (TMTG), has revealed that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) have “asked for information regarding stock trading and communications with Trump’s company before the deal was announced,” CNBC explains.
— David Enrich (@davidenrich) December 6, 2021
There’s a lot of money at stake here. In recent days, those behind this venture stated that they’d secured agreements for a whopping $1 billion in investments, which is — as of now — slated to come into the operation’s possession once the merger actually goes through. At issue (among other potential concerns) is the fact that DWAC “may have committed securities violations by holding private and undisclosed discussions about the merger as early as May 2021, while omitting this information” from filings with the SEC, as summarized by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who is among those to have expressed concerns.
Who just gave Trump's social media start-up $1 billion? They aren't saying, and maybe it's just your average investor. But buying access is buying access and Trump's a national security threat, so why isn't he disclosing his backers' identities. My column: https://t.co/kY6dKNNcyQ
— Tim O'Brien (@TimOBrien) December 6, 2021
DWAC stated that it is “cooperating” with requests for information from federal investigators, and there’s no indication as of this point that a violation of relevant rules definitely unfolded. Per DWAC, FINRA’s request for information covers “events (specifically, a review of trading) that preceded the public announcement of the October 20, 2021 Merger Agreement,” while the requests for information from the SEC targeted “documents relating to meetings of DWAC’s Board of Directors, policies and procedures relating to trading, the identification of banking, telephone, and email addresses, the identities of certain investors, and certain documents and communications between DWAC and TMTG.” In other words, it would appear as though federal authorities are looking into issues related to the concerns raised by Warren, although officials had the operation under investigation before she requested a probe.
Trump, in new statement, ignores Meadows' own book. "My Chief of Staff Mark Meadows confirmed I did not have Covid before or during the debate," Trump says. Actually, Meadows writes in his book that we'll never know if Trump had it during the debate.
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) December 6, 2021
In the meantime, Trump is hoping to use the Trump Media & Technology Group to launch TRUTH Social, an alternative social media platform. There was originally an announcement that an early version of the site would roll out in November, but that month came and went with no sign of it. Read more here.
WASHINGTON — Hours before the Capitol attack, Trump called operatives at the Willard and demanded they stop Biden’s certification from taking place on Jan. 6, the purported aim of the insurrection https://t.co/0tsVikPHjt
— Hugo Lowell (@hugolowell) December 6, 2021