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Trump Social Media Firm Subpoened      07/02 08:35


   NEW YORK (AP) -- Donald Trump's social media company and some of its 
employees received subpoenas from both a federal grand jury and securities 
regulators, according to a public disclosure Friday, possibly delaying or even 
killing a deal promising a cash infusion needed to take on Twitter.

   Trump Media & Technology Group received subpoenas from a grand jury in New 
York and the Securities and Exchange Commission, according to a securities 
document filed by Digital World Acquisition Corp. on Friday. Digital World has 
plans to buy Trump Media, releasing $1.3 billion for its fledging business, but 
the deal is unlikely to be done during two legal probes.

   Trump, who is Trump Media's chairman, was not among the employees who 
received subpoenas, according to a Trump Media statement.

   On Monday, Digital World announced it had received subpoenas from the same 
grand jury convened by the Manhattan U.S. Attorney's Office. Digital World has 
been under investigation by the SEC for possible violations for months, a 
development that has weighed on the stock.

   Digital World stock closed Friday at $5.78, down 25% in a week. It had been 
at over $100 last year after the company announced it had a deal to buy the 
former president's social media firm.

   The SEC has been looking into whether Digital World broke rules by having 
substantial talks about buying Trump's company starting early last year before 
Digital World sold stock to the public for the first time in September. Just 
weeks later it announced it would be buying Trump's company.

   Digital World is one of a once-popular group of "blank-check" companies that 
go public as empty corporate entities with no operations, only offering 
investors the promise they will buy a business in the future. As such, they are 
allowed to sell stock to the public quickly without the usual regulatory 
disclosures and delays, but only if they haven't already lined up possible 
acquisition targets.

   Trump's social media offering, called Truth Social, launched in February. It 
said it is fighting Big Tech limits on speech. Trump was banned from Twitter, 
Facebook and YouTube last year after the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

   Trump Media last year lined up dozens of investors to pump $1 billion into 
the company, but can't get the cash until the Digital World acquisition is 
completed. An additional $300 million would come from Digital World itself.

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