Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

There are only a few days left in our critical Mid-Year Campaign and we truly might not make it without your help.
Please join us. If you rely on independent media, support Common Dreams today. This is crunch time. We need you now.

Join the small group of generous readers who donate, keeping Common Dreams free for millions of people each year. Without your help, we won’t survive.

Former President Donald Trump walks at the White House

Then-President Donald Trump walked into the Rose Garden at the White House on May 29, 2020 in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images)

'Nobody Is Above the Law': Elizabeth Warren Applauds SEC Probe of Trump's Social Media Venture

"There may have been serious violations of securities laws during the proposed merger of Digital World Acquisition Corp. and Trump's media company," said the Massachusetts Democrat.

Kenny Stancil

Garnering praise from progressives including Sen. Elizabeth Warren, U.S. federal regulators have launched investigations into the proposed merger of a special purpose acquisition company with a budding social media company backed by former President Donald Trump.

Ongoing probes conducted by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) were revealed on Monday in an SEC filing by Digital World Acquisition Corporation, a "so-called blank-check company that raised nearly $300 million in an initial public offering in September" and intends to merge with Trump Media Technology Group, the New York Times reported.

Regulators are reportedly seeking information about stock trading activity and communications between Digital World and Trump Media that occurred before the planned merger was announced on October 20.

According to CNBC:

DWAC's stock price dramatically increased after the deal was announced, and trading volume in the company's shares exploded.

Shares of the blank-check firm, which had been trading at around $10 per share before the merger was disclosed, rocketed to as high as $175 per share in the days afterward.

Warren (D-Mass.), who three weeks ago asked the SEC to investigate possible securities violations related to the merger, was among those who welcomed the probes.

"Nobody is above the law," she tweeted. "There may have been serious violations of securities laws during the proposed merger of Digital World Acquisition Corporation and Trump's media company."

According to Digital World, the investigations began in early November, prior to Warren's request but soon after the Times reported that Digital World CEO Patrick Orlando "had talks with representatives of Trump Media as far back as March about doing a deal."

Special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) like Digital World raise money during an initial public offering, after which they purchase another corporation in order to sell shares on stock exchanges. When SPACs go public, however, "they are not supposed to have engaged in merger talks without disclosing that to investors," the Times explained Monday.

In its regulatory filing submitted on Monday, Digital World announced that "institutional investors had committed to providing an additional $1 billion to finance the merger in exchange for deeply discounted shares," the newspaper reported.

CNBC reported that "Trump's company plans to launch a social media platform called 'TRUTH Social,' which purportedly would compete with Twitter and Facebook, both of which have banned the former president because of his incitement of the January 6 Capitol riot."

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington responded to news of the investigations by pointing out that "Trump's legal troubles are only growing."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

Just a few days left in our crucial Mid-Year Campaign and we might not make it without your help.
Who funds our independent journalism? Readers like you who believe in our mission: To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. No corporate advertisers. No billionaire founder. Our non-partisan, nonprofit media model has only one source of revenue: The people who read and value this work and our mission. That's it.
And the model is simple: If everyone just gives whatever amount they can afford and think is reasonable—$3, $9, $29, or more—we can continue. If not enough do, we go dark.

All the small gifts add up to something otherwise impossible. Please join us today. Donate to Common Dreams. This is crunch time. We need you now.

Flint Residents 'Disgusted' After Court Throws Out Indictments of Top Officials

"It has become increasingly clear that the judicial system is not a viable option for a poor majority Black community facing injustice," said Flint Rising.

Jessica Corbett ·


Sanders, Fetterman Urge Buttigieg to Fine Airlines Over Flight Cancellations

"The American people are sick of airlines ripping them off, canceling flights at the last minute, and delaying flights for hours on end," said the Vermont senator.

Jake Johnson ·


In Blow to Voting Rights, SCOTUS Saves Louisiana's Racially Rigged Electoral Map

"Black Louisianans deserve fair representation. The fight for racial justice and equality is far from over," vowed one civil rights group.

Brett Wilkins ·


Watching US With Horror, European Groups Push Leaders to Strengthen Abortion Rights

"This is an important moment for leaders across Europe who are committed to reproductive rights to lead by example and galvanize action in their own countries," said one campaigner.

Jake Johnson ·


Women Face Chaos, Torment as Abortion Clinics Shutter Across US

Clinic workers are attempting to get patients appointments out-of-state while women stockpile emergency contraception, fearing overcrowded clinics even in states that protect reproductive rights.

Julia Conley ·

Common Dreams Logo