Trump Media Company Receives Subpoena in Federal Criminal Case Over SPAC Deal

Former US President Donald Trump delivers the Faith and Freedom Coalition’s keynote speech during their annual Road to Majority Politics conference at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center on June 17, 2022 in Nashville, Tennessee.

Seth Herald | Getty Images

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

Digital World Acquisition Corporation. said in submission on Friday that the Trump Media and Technology Group received a subpoena from a grand jury in Manhattan on Thursday. Trump’s company also received a subpoena from the Securities and Exchange Commission in connection with a civil investigation on Monday, DWAC reported.

The DWAC also said that some current and former TMTG employees have also recently received jury subpoenas. Later on Friday, TMTG said it would comply with the subpoenas and that none had been sent to its chairman Trump or the CEO, a former member of the US House of Representatives. Devin Nunez.

The filing comes days after DWAC said government investigations could delay or even prevent its merger with Trump’s newly formed company, which includes Truth Social, a social media app designed to be an alternative to Twitter.

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

The Justice Department and the SEC, which regulate the stock market, are investigating a 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 firm will have access to potential billions of dollars in public stock markets.

Trump created Truth Social months after he was banned by Twitter for his January 2 tweets. September 6, 2021, when hundreds of his supporters stormed the US Capitol in an attempt to overthrow Joe Biden’s presidential election victory.

Trump Media CEO Nunes is one of the former president’s most vocal supporters in the Republican Party. Trump is also considering running for president in the 2024 election.

Trump continues to spread the lie that the election was stolen from him. His alleged involvement in Jan. Uprising 6 is being investigated by a House Select Committee that has accused the former president of being at the center of a multifaceted conspiracy to block a peaceful transfer of power to Biden.

Early criticism of the Trump-DWAC deal came from the senator. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. Calling for an investigation, she wrote SEC Chairman Gary Gensler in Novemberinforming him that DWAC “may have committed securities infringement by having private and undisclosed merger discussions as early as May 2021, while omitting this information in [SEC] filing and other public statements.

Shares of DWAC are far from their highs and closed on Friday at $24.20. Shares surged above $90 in October after a deal with the Trump Group was announced.

DWAC on Monday presented in securities announcement that on June 16 it became known that each member of the board of directors received subpoenas from the same federal grand jury.

The grand jury requested documents similar to those already requested by the SEC as part of its civil investigation, the DWAC said. A week ago, the company itself was served with a subpoena with similar requests, as well as other requests regarding communications, persons and information regarding Rocket One Capital.

DWAC also reported on Monday that board member Bruce J. Garelik told management that he would be leaving the board last week. Garelik said his resignation “was not the result of any disagreement with Digital World’s activities, policies or practices,” according to a company statement.

– Kevin Breuninger and Thomas Frank of CNBC contributed to this story.