Donald Trump’s Truth Social parent company, Trump Media and Technology Group (TMTG) has slapped The Washington Post with a jaw-dropping $3.78 billion defamation lawsuit, alleging that the liberal outlet created “an existential threat for TMTG, causing enormous loss.”
“WaPo has been on a years-long crusade against TMTG characterized by the concealment of relevant information in its possession—a bitterly ironic truth for a publication whose motto is ‘Democracy Dies in Darkness‘. …” the lawsuit, filed late on Saturday in Sarasota County, Florida, claims. “TMTG brings this case to recover special damages to its business and good will, actual injury to its name and reputation, and punitive damages for WaPo’s gross misconduct.”
Specifically mentioned is an article in which The Washington Post cited former TMTG executive Will Wilkerson, who claimed there was “bitter infighting, technical failures and a chaotic jockeying for power among Trump allies” within the company “that undermined its potential and left some employees crying at their desks.”
Wilkerson was fired from TMTG, and as BizPac Review reported, is now working at a licensed Harris Teeter grocery store in North Carolina selling Starbucks beverages.
Truth Social exec ‘whistleblower’ who gave feds 150K internal docs now slinging macchiatos at Starbucks https://t.co/SR475Gfnsf pic.twitter.com/e5gaMPQr8n
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) May 3, 2023
“On May 13, 2023, WaPo, acting in concert with a former employee of TMTG who was terminated for cause, published an egregious hit piece that falsely accused TMTG of securities fraud and other wrongdoing,” the complaint states. “WaPo’s false criminal charges exposed TMTG to public ridicule, contempt and distrust, and injured TMTG’s business and reputation.”
The lawsuit also references a Guardian article that used Wilkerson as a source:
The Guardian Article contained false statements and defamatory implications, including that Federal investigators had examined TMTG “for possible money laundering”; that “New York prosecutors expanded criminal inquiry of company last year and examined acceptance of $8m with suspected Russian ties”; and that “Federal prosecutors in New York involved in the criminal investigation into Donald Trump’s social media company last year started examining whether it violated money laundering statutes in connection with the acceptance of $8m with suspected Russian ties”.
The source of the Guardian’s false and defamatory “money laundering” charges was a former employee of TMTG, Will Wilkerson (“Wilkerson”), who was terminated for cause.
“By May 2023, Wilkerson had come up with yet another fake news story,” the complaint reads. “Wilkerson knew that WaPo eagerly published false stories about TMTG, its CEO, Devin Nunes (‘Nunes’) and, of course, former President Donald Trump.”
“Wilkerson contacted WaPo with a salacious story about a porn-friendly bank and securities fraud,” it continues. “Through a series of meetings and conversations with Wilkerson and his lawyers, WaPo undertook with Wilkerson to publish agreed false and defamatory statements to injure TMTG.”
The lawsuit points to another Washington Post story with the “clickbait headline“: “Trust linked to porn-friendly bank could gain a stake in Trump’s Truth Social.”
The headline, TMTG’s legal team argues, “immediately grabbed the common mind of readers, falsely insinuating that TMTG was involved in shady business dealings.”
According to the complaint:
The express meaning and defamatory gist of WaPo’s Statements is that TMTG committed securities fraud or aided, abetted and participated in improper acts designed to conceal material facts3 from the SEC and shareholders of DWAC, and that TMTG was being investigated for money laundering. The WaPo Statements impute to TMTG crimes, dishonesty, want of integrity and corporate malfeasance. Readers concluded that TMTG and its executives could go to jail because of the non-disclosures described in the WaPo Article.
Readers of the WaPo Article concluded that TMTG operated underhandedly and openly disregarded the rule of law.
Those false statements were then amplified on Twitter.
“As was naturally and foreseeably intended by WaPo and Wilkerson, the Statements were republished millions of times on May 13, 2023 and thereafter, including by prominent anti-TMTG Twitter users,” the lawsuit claims, adding that the statements “are materially false.”
“WaPo’s Statements were not published in good faith. The falsity of the Statements is not due to an honest mistake of the facts,” the complaint alleges. “There are no reasonable grounds for believing that the Statements are true. Publication of the Statements and republication of the Guardian article was part of a concerted effort to damage TMTG and interfere with its business.”
Online, Trump supporters are cheering the former president on.
“He should sue every organization and individual that has defamed him,” wrote one user on Twitter. “They should all be held accountable and made to pay restitution.”
He should sue every organization and individual that has defamed him. They should all be held accountable and made to pay restitution.
— Soc L. (@Chongga52) May 22, 2023
Hope he bankrupts them
— Nancy Cate (@cate_cateknox) May 22, 2023
I hope he receives every dime!
— Andrea Smith (@AndreaS81460512) May 22, 2023
Honestly, it’s about time.
— AZ_Badger (@vanhamj043) May 22, 2023
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