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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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Trump records negotiator warns of Russigate materials cover-up

Justice Department officials appear to be maneuvering to block the disclosure of documents from the so-called "Russiagate" controversy, according to a top Pentagon official from the Trump administration.

Kash Patel appeared on Fox News on Sunday and defended former President Donald Trump's claims that he issued sweeping declassification orders of documents after the FBI raided his Mar-a-Lago resort and seized more than a dozen boxes of materials in an investigation that could have national security implications.


Patel, who was chief of staff to acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller and other high-ranking positions in the Trump administration, said Trump named him his representative to the National Archives, and they have been locked in a "bureaucratic battle" in regards to documents that were taken to his Florida club.

Because there appears to be an "ongoing" counterintelligence investigation, he argued, "you will never be allowed to see the Russiagate docs or any other docs that President Trump lawfully declassified, and they will hide it from the public," Patel told Sunday Morning Futures host Maria Bartiromo.

Special counsel John Durham is investigating the origins and conduct of the Russia inquiry, which Republicans have long criticized as being a drawn-out campaign to drag the 45th president. Patel previously claimed on Jan. 20, 2020, Trump's final day in office, that "99%" transparency had been achieved, but on Sunday, he pared back that estimate to 60%.

There remains an air of mystery about the documents covered by Trump's 11th-hour declassification memo at the end of his administration. The memo spoke of a binder of materials related to the Crossfire Hurricane investigation that Trump said the Justice Department provided to the White House at his request on Dec. 30, 2020.

"I hereby declassify the remaining materials in the binder. This is my final determination under the declassification review and I have directed the Attorney General to implement the redactions proposed in the FBI’s January 17 submission and return to the White House an appropriately redacted copy," Trump said.

There were prior FISA-related instructions, which came in the form of tweets and a White House press release, that a judge ruled in May 2020 did not constitute formal declassification orders. Trump tweeted again about authorizing the "total Declassification" of Russiagate documents in October 2020, after which the Department of Justice argued there was no order, and White House chief of staff Mark Meadows submitted a sworn declaration in which he said Trump indicated to him that his statements on Twitter were not "self-executing declassification orders." A judge then accepted the White House statement as rescinding Trump's tweets.

In a post to his Truth Social social media platform on Friday, Trump claimed a "standing order" allowed him to declassify documents as soon as they left the Oval Office.


FBI agents recovered 11 sets of classified information, with some marked as top secret, among 20 boxes of items, during the raid on Monday. Search warrant documents were unsealed on Friday, after Trump declined to oppose the move, showing the former president is being investigated for a potential Espionage Act violation and possible obstruction of justice. He has denied any wrongdoing.

Although no president has ever been prosecuted for mishandling classified material, some experts dispute the notion that one could suddenly deem something declassified and argue that the president must instead follow a formal process. As to Trump's new statement, they argue that what he described is not possible or at least very unlikely.

Patel, who was also a top investigator for the House Intelligence Committee, said Congress "has a monumental lift" ahead of them, alluding to investigations Republicans have pledged to lead if they win control of one of both chambers in November. "They better start subpoenaing these documents immediately and putting these people before the American public," Patel said. He also criticized Attorney General Merrick Garland and FBI Director Christopher Wray, saying they have become "political hucksters."

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