A grand jury in the Southern District of New York served a subpoena Thursday to Trump Media & Technology Group, the parent company of Donald Trump’s social media platform Truth Social, and current and former employees have also been subpoenaed, it was disclosed Friday by the special purpose acquisition company it plans to merge with, Digital World Acquisition Corp., as federal prosecutors investigate the deal to take the Trump venture public.

Key Facts

The subpoenas, revealed in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, come after Digital World Acquisition Corp. disclosed Monday that it was being probed by the federal grand jury, in addition to a pre-existing civil investigation by the SEC.

The SEC and the grand jury have sought documents and communications from DWAC regarding the transaction and whether it pursued due diligence on any other merger targets.

Key Background

Trump started Truth Social after being banned from more mainstream social media platforms, including Twitter, shortly after the January 6 insurrection. In October, TMTG and DWAC announced plans to merge. But in December the SEC began investigating the merger, amid claims DWAC CEO Patrick Orlando had conversations with Trump before the blank check company went public, possibly violating regulations prohibiting SPACs from selecting an acquisition target before raising funds. After delays, Truth Social went live in March, though Trump did not regularly post on the site until April. Several Truth Social executives left the company this spring. , On Monday, DWAC revealed that board members had been served with federal grand jury subpoenas, sending its shares tumbling more than 9%. DWAC shares closed Friday at $24.20, down 86% from a peak of $175 reached after the merger announcement.

Further Reading

Trump media company subpoenaed in federal criminal probe of SPAC deal (CNBC)

Trump’s social media company gets subpoenaed (Axios)

Trump Agrees To Post On Truth Social Before Any Other Sites—With Some Caveats (Forbes)

Shares Of Trump’s Truth Social SPAC Tumble After Federal Grand Jury Issues Subpoenas (Forbes)

Executives At Trump’s Truth Social Reportedly Quit As Company’s SPAC Stock Drops (Forbes)

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