Former President Trump is appealing the dismissal of the lawsuit he filed after Twitter permanently banned him in the wake of the January 6 attack. The suit, which argued that Twitter’s action violated his free speech rights, was dismissed last month by U.S. District Judge James Donato. Today, Trump filed a notice of appeal in San Francisco, meaning that Trump v. Twitter will go before the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and his and Twitter’s lawyers will face off once again.
Trump’s lawsuit argues that Democrats “coerced” Twitter into deplatforming him as political retribution. Judge Donato rejected the claim that Jack Dorsey, then Twitter’s CEO, “willful[ly] participat[ed] in joint activity with federal actors to censor” Trump. This kept Trump cut off from his account’s almost 89 million followers. Ultimately he also lost his Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, and Twitch accounts for violating their policies against encouraging or glorifying violence.
Would Trump rejoin Twitter if the Ninth Circuit reversed the ruling? In fact, he’s explicitly vowed he won’t, even with the prospect of friendlier ownership under Elon Musk, who has called Trump’s banning a mistake. But what’s clear is that the existence of MAGA-backed social networks such as Parler, Gettr, and Rumble hasn’t led him to quit stewing over his Twitter ban. Last year, he created Trump Media & Technology Group to launch his own competitor, Truth Social. He’s started using the app to post “truths,” as its knockoff tweets are known, from an account that’s managed to amass about 3 million followers so far.
But Truth Social has already run into a laundry list of its own issues. They’ve grown to include the allegation that Truth Social is essentially functioning as a pump-and-dump stock market scam to enrich Trump and his gang. Since December, the feds have been investigating Trust Social, Trump Media & Technology Group, and Digital World Acquisition Corp. (the SPAC waiting to take it public) for securities violations.
The Twitter lawsuit appeal on comes the same day that DWAC disclosed in an SEC filing that the company and all of its board members have been subpoenaed to appear before a Manhattan federal grand jury, a development that, at minimum, threatens to imperil Truth Social’s public listing.