Former President Donald Trump abandoned his seat on the board of a media-holding company supportive of him ahead of a merger that is under investigation by federal authorities.
On Thursday, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune reported that Trump had left his position on the board of Trump Media and Technology Group (TMTG) on June 8. according to a filing with the Florida Department of State’s Division of Corporations. Joining him in this exodus were his son, Donald Trump Jr, as well as four other executives of the company.
Three weeks later on June 27, the Securities and Exchange Commission served TMTG with a subpoena and four days later, a grand jury in Manhattan issued a second subpoena to the company. Axios previously reported that federal regulators were looking into whether DWAC and TMTG negotiated the merger prior to its announcement, which would be illegal.
The subpoenas appear related to a prospective merger between TMTG and Digital World Acquisition Corp. that was underway (DWAC). In its own filing in June, DWAC warned that the merger was at risk of being delayed or prevented altogether after the investigation was launched.
The SEC’s subpoena is specifically looking for documents related to the DWAC merger, but also “certain current and former TMTG personnel”. These individuals were not identified, but TMTG denied that either Trump or chairman Devin Nunes were targets of the probe.
TMTG was launched in February 2021, one month after Trump left office following his defeat to now-President Joe Biden. The company’s goal behind the merger with DWAC was to present a direct challenge to the dominant social media firms like Facebook and Twitter, particularly after Trump was banned from the latter in the wake of the Jan. 6 Capitol Riot.
To this end, TMTG launched Truth Social on Feb. 21, 2022, which has since served as Trump’s substitute platform for his once-prolific Twitter account.