The SPAC is drawing its last straw to finalize a merger deal as its Trump-owned potential candidate firm gets dragged with its principal’s January 6 problems.
The so-called January 6th Committee investigating the alleged insurrection on the US Capitol has formally recommended insurrection charges against the former US President Donald Trump for his part in the actions that led to the attack.
The Democratic-led House panel voted unanimously for the Justice Department to pursue prosecuting the ex-president, accusing him of instigating the unrest by spreading false election fraud accusations and “summoning” his supporters to Washington, DC before they stormed the government building to prevent the Congress from certifying President Joe Biden’s win.
After nearly 18 months of investigation, the House select committee recommended that Trump face four charges during their last meeting on Monday:
- Inciting, assisting, aiding or comforting an insurrection
- Obstruction of an official proceeding
- Conspiracy to defraud the United States
- Conspiracy to make a false statement
The recommendations are not legally enforceable, and the Department of Justice will decide whether to arrest the ex-president, but they signal the end of the committee’s months-long inquiry into the events of January 6. No past US president has ever been charged with a crime.
The development from the House committee is expected to put a hurdle on Trump’s presidential bid in 2024. His campaign released a statement accusing the committee of staging “show trials by Never Trump partisans who are a stain on this country’s history.”
“This Kangaroo court has been nothing more than a vanity project that insults Americans’ intelligence and makes a mockery of our democracy.”
Trump also denied any wrongdoing: “These folks don’t get it that when they come after me, people who love freedom rally around me. It strengthens me. What doesn’t kill me makes me stronger.”
Dragged in the brouhaha of it all is blank check firm Digital World Acquisition Corp (Nasdaq: DWAC), who is currently hoping to close the pending merger deal with Trump Media & Technology Group (TMTG). The SPAC recently confirmed the second of the two three-month extensions to the initial business combination deadline, pushing it from December 8, 2022 to March 8, 2023. The form initially secured a three-month extension through the firm’s sponsor–ARC Global Investments committing additional US$2.9 million to the trust account and extending the deadline until December 8, 2022.
The SPAC also gained shareholder approval to extend the deadline to close the deal with the Trump-owned tech firm until September 8, 2023. TMTG manages the right-wing social networking site Truth Social.
But all these have been marred by developments in Trump’s cases. After many of the former president’s endorsed candidates failed to win in the recent midterm elections, DWAC lost as much 26% in its share price days following the polls.
With the so-called criminal referrals being formally recommended by the January 6th committee to charge Trump with, DWAC fell nearly 10% following the news. In just a month, the SPAC lost around 19%; year-to-date, its valuation has fallen 66%.
This is further compounded by the Democratic-led House Ways and Means Committee’s recent decision to disclose Trump’s tax returns covering the years 2015 through 2020. Earlier this month, a New York jury convicted the Trump Organization — whose corporations were charged with improperly decreasing the tax it paid on executive pay by granting top managers “off the books” bonuses — on all 17 charges on Tuesday.
Major departures at DWAC board aren’t also helping to project confidence in the firm’s outlook. CFO Luiz Philippe Braganza and board member Rodrigo Veloso resigned from the board earlier this month following board member Lee Jacobson’s departure in late November.
Trump, who’s thrown his hat into the proverbial 2024 presidential ring, is also losing steam after some of his major Republican supporters in the 2016 elections are reportedly backing down in his new bid.
Amid all these, the former president seems to be preoccupied with something else: NFTs. Trump recently unveiled a ‘Donald Trump Digital Trading Card Collection,” a set of NFTs depicting his face on cartoon superhero bodies such as a sheriff, fighter pilot, or an astronaut, which supporters can buy for $99 each.
DWAC last traded at $17.38 on the Nasdaq.
Information for this briefing was found via Al Jazeera, BBC, and the sources mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.