According to the company with which the former president’s firm plans to merge, a federal grand jury has subpoenaed Donald Trump’s media company in connection with a criminal investigation.
According to a filing on Friday by Digital World Acquisition Corp., Trump Media and Technology Group received a subpoena from the grand jury in Manhattan on Thursday. On Monday, the Trump Organization received a subpoena from the Securities and Exchange Commission in connection with a civil investigation, according to DWAC.
DWAC also stated that some current and former TMTG employees have recently been served with grand jury subpoenas. Later that day, TMTG stated that it would comply with the subpoenas, but that none were directed at its chairman, Trump, or CEO, former U.S. Rep. Devin Nunes.
The filing comes just days after DWAC warned that government investigations could delay or even prevent its merger with Trump’s newly formed company, which includes Truth Social, a social media app aimed at competing with Twitter.
CNBC’s requests for comment were met with silence from TMTG and a Trump spokeswoman.
The Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission, which regulates the stock market, are looking into the deal between DWAC and Trump Media. Trump’s firm would gain access to potentially billions of dollars in public equities markets by merging with DWAC, which is a type of shell company known as a special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC.
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Trump founded Truth Social months after Twitter banned him for his tweets on Jan. 6, 2021, when hundreds of his supporters stormed the United States Capitol in an attempt to overturn Joe Biden’s presidential election victory. Trump Media’s parent company was formed in February 2021, just weeks after Trump left office. Nunes, the CEO of the company, is one of the Republican Party’s most ardent supporters of the former president. Trump is also contemplating a run for president in the 2024 election.
Trump has maintained his claim that the election was stolen from him. A House select committee is investigating his alleged involvement in the Jan. 6 insurgency, accusing him of being at the center of a multifaceted conspiracy to prevent Biden’s peaceful transition of power.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., was among the first to criticize the Trump-DWAC agreement. She wrote to SEC Chair Gary Gensler in November, requesting an investigation, claiming 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 in [SEC] filings and other public statements.” The request came shortly after The New York Times reported that the deal may have violated securities laws and regulations.
DWAC shares closed Friday at $24.20, a far cry from their highs. After the deal with Trump’s group was announced in October, the stock soared above $90.
In a securities filing on Monday, DWAC disclosed that on June 16, each member of its board of directors received subpoenas from the same federal grand jury.
According to DWAC, the grand jury requested documents similar to those requested by the SEC as part of its civil investigation. A subpoena with similar requests was served on Rocket One Capital a week ago, along with other requests relating to communications, individuals, and information involving Rocket One Capital.
DWAC also revealed on Monday that a board member, Bruce J. Garelick, had informed management that he intended to resign from the board the previous week. According to the company filing, Garelick stated that his resignation “was not the result of any disagreement with Digital World’s operations, policies, or practices.”