November 30, 2022

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Trump left social media company's board ahead of federal subpoenas

Trump left social media company’s board ahead of federal subpoenas

The social network’s Truth logo appears on a smartphone in front of former US President Donald Trump’s screen in this illustrative photo taken on February 21, 2022.

Dado Rovich | Reuters

Records show that former President Donald Trump left his company’s board of directors on social media just weeks before subpoenas were issued by the Securities and Exchange Commission and a federal jury in Manhattan.

Trump, who served as president of the Trump Media and Technology Group, was one of the six board members removed, according to a June 8 report with the Florida Department of State’s Corporate Division. His son Donald Trump Jr has also left the board, along with Wes Moss, Kashyap Patel, Andrew Northwall and Scott Galabi. The news was first reported by the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

The Securities and Exchange Commission filed a subpoena for the company on June 27. Three days later, a federal grand jury in Manhattan issued a subpoena for the company. Grand jury subpoenas usually indicate that a criminal investigation is in progress.

The company said last week that none of the subpoenas had been directed at Trump. Representatives for Trump and the company did not immediately respond to requests for comment Thursday.

The subpoenas appear to be related to a proposed merger between Trump Media and Technology and Digital World Acquisition Company. DWAC Expose the relationship with a criminal investigation Friday. A week ago, DWAC said government investigations could do just that delay or even prevent Its merger with the newly formed Trump Corporation, which includes Truth Social, a social media app that aims to be an alternative to Twitter.

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The Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission, which regulates the stock market, are investigating the deal between DWAC and Trump Media. By merging with DWAC, a type of shell company called a Special Purpose Acquisition Corporation, or SPAC, Trump’s company will have access to potentially billions of dollars in public stock markets.

Early criticism of the deal came from Senator Elizabeth Warren in November. I wrote to SEC President Gary Genslertelling him that the DWAC “may have committed securities violations by conducting private and undisclosed discussions about the merger as early as May 2021, with this information omitted in [SEC] Deposit and other public statements.

Shares of DWAC fell less than 1% Thursday, but have fallen more than 50% so far this year.

CNBC’s Mike Calla contributed to this report.