HomeBusinessTrump quit social media company's board ahead of federal subpoenas

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

The Truth social network logo is seen on a smartphone in front of a screen of former US President Donald Trump in this illustration taken February 21, 2022.

Dado Ruvic | Reuters

Former President Donald Trump quit his social media company’s board just weeks before the Securities and Exchange Commission and a federal grand jury in Manhattan issued subpoenas to him, records show.

Trump, who had served as chairman of the Trump Media and Technology Group, was one of six board members removed, according to a June 8 filing with the Florida Department of State’s Corporations Division. . His son Donald Trump Jr. also quit the board, along with Wes Moss, Kashyap Patel, Andrew Northwall and Scott Glabe.

The “Board of Directors” page on Trump Media’s website appeared empty on Thursday afternoon.

The news was first reported by the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

The SEC served the company with a subpoena on June 27. Three days later, a federal grand jury in Manhattan issued a subpoena to the company. Grand jury subpoenas usually indicate that a criminal investigation is underway.

The company said last week that none of the subpoenas were directed against 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 Corp. DWAC revealed the connection to a criminal investigation on Friday. A week earlier, DWAC said government investigations could delay or even prevent its merger with Trump’s new company, which includes Truth Social, a social media app meant to be an alternative to Twitter.

The Justice Department and the SEC, which regulates the stock market, are investigating the deal between DWAC and Trump Media. By merging with DWAC, which is a kind of shell company called a Special Purpose Acquisition Company, or SPAC, Trump’s company would have access to potential billions of dollars in the public stock markets.

The first criticisms of the deal came from Senator Elizabeth Warren in November. She wrote to SEC Chairman Gary Gensler, telling him that the DWAC “may have committed securities violations by holding private, undisclosed discussions about the merger as early as May 2021, while omitting that information in [SEC] filing and other public statements. »

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

—CNBC’s Mike Calia contributed to this report.

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