Trump Media and Technology Group Sues The Washington Post For Defamation

The company behind Truth Social alleges the news outlet made "materially false" statements that harmed the company.

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Trump Media and Technology Group (TMTG), a venture headed by the former President Donald Trump, has launched a $3.78 billion defamation suit against The Washington Post. The action alleges that an article from the newspaper poses a significant risk to the survival of TMTG’s social media venture, Truth Social.

The lawsuit, currently lodged in Sarasota County, Florida, accuses The Washington Post of penning and publishing a devastating “hit piece,” alleging TMTG of securities fraud and other crimes.

We obtained a copy of the lawsuit for you here.

TMTG asserts that this article amounts to an “existential threat” to Truth Social, with a potential to derail its nascent operations.

In the lawsuit, TMTG also charges that the newspaper has consistently and consciously engaged in a campaign to undermine its operation, deliberately concealing relevant facts that contradict their story.

As of Sunday, The Washington Post had not provided a public response to the lawsuit.

On May 13 2023, The Washington Post published an article with the headline, “Trust linked to porn-friendly bank could gain a stake in Trump’s Truth Social.”

According to the lawsuit, the Post made the following false statements:

  • “An obscure financial entity … would gain a sizable stake in former president Donald Trump’s media company if its merger deal proceeds;”
  • “[T]he role ES Family Trust would assume in Trump Media and Technology Group has never been officially disclosed to the Securities and Exchange Commission [“SEC”] or to shareholders in Digital World Acquisition [“DWAC”], the special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, that has proposed merging with Trump’s company;”
  • “The companies also have not disclosed to shareholders or the SEC that Trump Media paid a $240,000 finder’s fee for helping to arrange the $8 million loan deal with ES Family Trust;”
  • “…the recipient of that fee was an outside brokerage associated with Patrick Orlando, then Digital World’s CEO;”
  • “Trump’s media company took out an $8 million loan in exchange for stock, but no one told the SEC;”
  • “Trump Media: this time they borrowed money from a bank best known for servicing the adult entertainment, pledged a stake in the company for the loan and didn’t tell the SEC;”
  • “A Russian banker connected to the porn industry could have gained a stake in Trump’s Truth Social according to documents;”
  • “The Guardian reported in March that federal prosecutors in New York have been investigating whether the Trump Media loans violated money laundering statutes.”

The complaint alleges that the allegations are “materially false” and that, “contrary to WaPo’s Statements, TMTG did not conceal from or improperly fail to disclose (or cause DWAC to improperly fail to disclose) to the SEC or DWAC shareholders that ES Family Trust would gain a stake in TMTG if TMTG consummated a merger with DWAC. In truth, DWAC properly disclosed TMTG’s debt in its registration statement filed with the SEC. TMTG did not conceal material facts from any shareholder or the SEC.”

This new suit against The Washington Post adds to the escalating series of legal confrontations that President Trump has initiated against media organizations in recent years. In 2022, CNN found itself on the receiving end of a Trump-led defamation suit, with a requested $475 million in punitive damages.

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