Trump Media and Technology Group (TMTG) is seeking $3.78 billion in damages after filing a defamation lawsuit against the Washington Post.
TMTG, the parent company of former President Donald Trump’s Truth Social, accused the Post of conducting a “years-long crusade” against the company.
The lawsuit filed late on Saturday (May 20) in Sarasota County, Florida, alleges that WaPo has waged a “years-long crusade against TMTG” that it characterizes as the publication’s decision to withhold important information in its possession, describing the choice as a “bitterly ironic truth for a publication whose motto is ‘Democracy Dies in Darkness.'”
The lawsuit also accuses WaPo of igniting an “existential threat” that has resulted in “enormous loss” to the company.
The lawsuit focuses on Will Wilkerson, one of TMTG’s first employees who claimed the company violated securities laws in an October 2022 report in WaPo.
The same report suggested Trump pressured executives to transfer the company’s stock to Melania Trump and included internal documents Wilkerson shared with the newspaper.
The lawsuit claims “Wilkerson knew that WaPo eagerly published false stories about TMTG,” the Group’s CEO, Devin Nunes, and former President Donald Trump when he approached WaPo with a nasty story “about a porn-friendly bank and securities fraud.”
The lawsuit suggests WaPo met with Wilkerson and his lawyers to undertake spreading agreed-upon “false and defamatory statements” to the detriment of TMTG.
The suit cites the May 13, 2023, WaPo report titled “Trust linked to porn-friendly bank could gain a stake in Trump’s Truth Social,” which TMTG’s legal team Dismisses as false.
The legal team then describes how the false claims were spread to the publication’s 2,5 million subscribers and 20 million Twitter followers; and reposted to the author’s Twitter account, which is followed by prominent publications like CNN, the New York Times, NBC News, Huffington Post, Daily Beast, Business Insider, and the Guardian.
The lawsuit asserts that “Readers concluded that TMTG and its executives” could face prison time because of the “non-disclosures” described in the article, adding that the publication has refused to retract defamatory statements in the report.