By
Sarah May
|
May 22, 2023
|
11:45 pm

Trump Media and Technology Group launches defamation suit against Washington Post

In the wake of the blockbuster defamation litigation involving Fox News and Dominion Voting Systems comes news that Trump Media and Technology Group (TMTG), the parent entity of former President Donald Trump's Truth Social platform, has sued the Washington Post for a sum approaching $4 billion, as the Daily Wire reports.

The complaint alleges that the Post was responsible for publishing what TMGT describes as “an egregious hit piece” earlier in May in which wrongful claims of securities fraud and related misdeeds were leveled against the company.

According to Fox News, the Truth Social parent entity asserts that “WaPo has been on a years-long crusade against TMTG characterized by the concealment of relevant information it its possession – a bitterly ironic truth for a publication whose motto is 'Democracy Dies in Darkness.'”

The Post article at issue was titled, “Trust linked to porn-friendly bank could gain a stake in Trump's Truth Social,” as the Daily Wire notes, and it claimed that TMTG withheld material information regarding a proposed merger from shareholders as well as from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

In the piece a number of allegations were made related to loans offered to TMTG by a Caribbean island-based bank.

The Post contended that TMTG “borrowed money from a bank best known for servicing the adult entertainment [industry], pledged a stake in the company for the loan, and didn't tell the SEC.”

“The clickbait headline of the WaPo Article...immediately grabbed the common mind of readers, falsely insinuating that TMTG was involved in shady business dealings,” the complaint explains.

TMTG is taking issue not just with the initial publication of the aforementioned article, but also with various modes of republication, as the lawsuit details.

WaPo was not content with publication of the false statements to its 2,500,000 subscribers and republication to its 20,000,000 Twitter followers. The primary author of the WaPo article, Drew Harwell, republished the article to his 48,000 Twitter followers,” the complaint reads.

Among Harwell's followers, TMTG alleges, were “correspondents at CNN, New York Times, NBC News, The Atlantic, Huffington Post, the Daily Beast, Business Insider and the Guardian.

Making matters worse according to TMTG, was the fact that “[i]n order to further spread the smear and increase the damage to TMTG, WaPo engaged agents from both within and outside the company to broadly republish the defamation.”

Noting that the Post has declined to retract any statements made in the article at issue, the complaint added that “[r]eaders concluded that TMTG and its executives could go to jail because of the non-disclosures described” in the piece.

TMTG's complaint regarding what it calls the “enormous” loss and “existential threat” the to the survival of the social media platform was filed in state court in Sarasota County, Florida on Saturday, and thus far, the Post has declined comment on the matter, according to Fox News.

Though TMTG unequivocally declares that the Post's conduct was borne out of “actual malice and reckless disregard for the truth” justifying massive punitive and compensatory damages, it remains to be seen whether a Sunshine State jury will agree.

Written By:
Sarah May

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