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Trump media company receives subpoena in federal criminal investigation into SPAC deal

Former US President Donald Trump delivers a keynote address at the Faith & Freedom Alliance during their annual “Road to Majority Policy Conference” at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center June 17 2022 in Nashville, Tennessee.

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Donald Trump’s media company has been subpoenaed by a federal grand jury in connection with a criminal investigation, according to the company with which the former president’s company plans to merge.

Digital World Acquisition Corp. say in Friday to apply that Trump Media and Technology Corporation received a subpoena from a grand jury in Manhattan on Thursday. The Trump company also received a subpoena from the Securities and Exchange Commission about a civil investigation on Monday, the DWAC said.

DWAC also said a number of current and former TMTG employees have also recently received grand jury subpoenas. Late on Friday, TMTG said it would comply with the subpoenas and that none of them targeted its president, Trump, or its CEO, former US Representative Devin Nunes.

The filing comes days after the DWAC said government investigations may delay or even prevent its merger with Trump’s startups, which included Truth Social, a social media app intended as an alternative to Twitter.

Neither TMTG nor a spokesman for Trump immediately responded to CNBC’s request for comment.

The Department of Justice and the SEC, the securities market regulator, are investigating the deal between DWAC and Trump Media. By merging with DWAC, a type of shell company known as a special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, Trump’s company will gain access to potentially billions of dollars in the stock market. mass.

Trump founded Truth Social months after Twitter banned him from posting his tweets on January 6, 2021, when hundreds of his supporters stormed the US Capitol to topple Joe Biden’s victory in the election. presidential election.

The CEO of Trump Media, Nunes, is one of the former president’s most fervent loyalists in the Republican Party. Trump is also considering whether to run for president in the 2024 election.

Trump has continued to lie that the election was stolen from him. His alleged participation in the January 6 uprising is being investigated by a House select committee that has accused the former president of being at the center of a multi-dimensional plot to thwart the transition of power. peacefully for Biden.

Initial criticism of the Trump-DWAC deal came from Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. In calling for an investigation, she wrote to SEC Chairman Gary Gensler in Novembertold him that DWAC “may have breached securities by holding private and undisclosed discussions about the merger as early as May 2021, while ignoring this information in [SEC] filings and other public statements. “

DWAC stock has fared well above their all-time high, closing Friday at $24.20. Shares rose above $90 in October, after the deal with Trump’s team was announced.

DWAC on Monday revealed in a stock record that it learned on June 16 that each member of its board of directors had received subpoenas from the same federal grand jury.

The grand jury sought documents similar to those requested by the SEC as part of a civil investigation, the DWAC said. The company itself was subpoenaed a week ago with similar requests, along with other requests regarding contact, personal, and information related to Rocket One Capital.

DWAC also revealed Monday that a board member, Bruce J. Garelick, told management he was leaving the board last week. Garelick said his resignation “was not the result of any disagreement with Digital World’s operations, policies or practices,” according to company filings.

– CNBC’s Kevin Breuninger and Thomas Franck contributed to this story.

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