The Trump Media & Technology Group (TMTG), which is the Trump company behind his alternative social media platform called Truth Social, has been hit with a federal grand jury subpoena in connection to a criminal probe. That investigation seemingly hinges on federal questions about a planned deal for TMTG and Digital World Acquisition Corp. to merge.
Digital World Acquisition Corp. (DWAC) is a so-called blank check company; CNBC summarizes that type of company as a kind of shell company. DWAC and each member of that company’s board of directors — at least at the time — were also recently hit with federal grand jury subpoenas. The scope of the DWAC materials sought by federal investigators included some of the same documents pursued by investigators at the federal entity known as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), where the broad Trump social media operation has also been under scrutiny. That SEC probe has included a push for materials from DWAC showing potential “due diligence” on the company’s part about possible partners for a merger other than TMTG.
There are concerns about DWAC and the ex-president’s team having potentially conducted illegal negotiations over their business relationship before DWAC went public. TMTG received its grand jury subpoena last Thursday, per DWAC, which revealed the developments in a filing with the SEC. The Trump-branded company was also subpoenaed this week by the SEC itself in connection to a civil investigation at the federal agency. (That would presumably be the same SEC investigation targeting DWAC.) In addition to a subpoena targeting TMTG itself, certain current and former employees at the Trump company have also recently been hit with grand jury subpoenas.
TMTG says none of the subpoenas for individuals connected with the company target former Republican Congressman Devin Nunes, who’s now the organization’s CEO, or the ex-president himself. DWAC has indicated federal investigations into its relationship with TMTG could hinder or completely stop the planned merger with Trump’s company. In very specific terms, CNBC explains exactly how the combination of Trump’s company with DWAC could benefit the ex-president: “By merging with DWAC, which is a kind of shell company called a special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, Trump’s firm would gain access to potentially billions of dollars on public equities markets.”
The precise information sought by the grand jury subpoenas to the Trump-branded company and its current and former staff members wasn’t immediately clear. Truth Social — and the Trump Media & Technology Group — emerged after the former president was banned from mainstream social media platforms including Twitter. Initially, Trump didn’t regularly use Truth Social after its public roll-out, but he’s now regularly posting on the platform in a manner similar to his long-gone Twitter posts. The stock price for DWAC has significantly fallen from earlier highs seen shortly after the announcement of its planned merger with Trump’s company. Just this year, it’s already down some 53 percent from its starting value seen when January began.