The Trump Media & Technology Group (TMTG), which is behind Trump’s alternative social media platform Truth Social, was recently subpoenaed by investigators at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and a federal grand jury — and according to a new report, Trump himself has exited TMTG’s board.
The exit, outlined in state filings in Florida where the company is registered, doesn’t seem like an overwhelmingly positive sign for the direction of the firm. It’s already become clear federal investigations could entirely block a planned merger with Digital World Acquisition Corp. (DWAC), a so-called blank check company also under investigation. Companies like DWAC apparently aren’t permitted to negotiate over merger deals before going public, but that’s exactly what may have happened. The relationship between DWAC and TMTG seems to be a main focus of federal investigations. For DWAC and TMTG to eventually successfully link up could be a significant boost for the Trump-branded company: access to huge amounts of capital and a stock exchange listing could come with it.
Trump’s departure from the TMTG board took place weeks before the SEC and grand jury subpoenas for the company. A total of six board members were removed on June 8; others include former Trump Defense Department official Kashyap Patel and Donald Trump Jr. The SEC’s subpoena came on June 27, while the federal grand jury subpoena — connected, it would seem, to an ongoing investigation by federal prosecutors into potential criminal activity — came on July 1. The latter subpoena was issued by a grand jury in the Southern District of New York. DWAC and then-members of that company’s board of directors have also been subpoenaed by a federal grand jury. According to a filing from DWAC, the grand jury subpoenas targeting the Trump-branded company were after a “subset of the same or similar documents demanded in subpoenas to Digital World and its directors.”
The SEC’s subpoena, per a filing, targeted “documents relating to, among other things, Digital World and other potential counterparties for a business transaction involving TMTG.” In other words, investigators seem to be pursuing documentation on both ends of the pairing related to the connection between the companies. In a filing, DWAC revealed the SEC sought “communications regarding and due diligence of potential targets other than” Trump’s company, suggesting investigators wanted to closely look at whether there’d been any alternatives explored inside DWAC for the company with which it would merge. Individuals associated with the Trump-branded company were also recently served federal grand jury subpoenas, which TMTG said didn’t target the company’s chairman or CEO — “What the [TMTG] statement did not mention was that Trump is no longer chairman, at least according to the state business filing,” the Sarasota Herald-Tribune reports.
It’s now just Devin Nunes, the ex-Republican Congressman from California-turned-CEO at TMTG, and Phillip Juhan, the company’s CFO, who are listed as board members. As of recently, an office address in Sarasota associated in filings with both individuals didn’t bear any apparent external markings associating it with TMTG. “A visit to the office by the Herald-Tribune on June 27 revealed Trump’s company name was not on the registry in the main lobby, nor was there any reference to the name at the office suite itself. There was no receptionist either, just a note to ring the doorbell for assistance,” the Herald-Tribune reports. As for Truth Social itself, Trump didn’t start using it right away after its public launch, but he now regularly posts on the platform — but is the whole thing much more than a vanity project rooted in potential corruption?