Already facing massive legal problems for his role in the January 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol and illegally hoarding classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago resort, failed former president Donald Trump is now accused of shaking down a partner in his failing social media venture, Truth Social.
The Washington Post took a deep dive into why Truth Social is sinking into financial morass and discovered that the ex-president wanted a top executive at the site to hand over some of his shares to former first lady Melania Trump.
Will Wilkerson, then an executive at former president Donald Trump’s start-up Trump Media & Technology Group, was at a Fort Lauderdale, Fla.,coffee shop with company co-founder Andy Litinsky last October when Trump called Litinsky with a question: Would he give up some of his shares to Trump’s wife, Melania?
Trump Media, the owner of the fledgling social network Truth Social, had just been boosted by a huge merger agreement and a flood of investment that had made the stake worth millions of dollars. Trump had already been given 90 percent of the company’s shares in exchange for the use of his name and some minor involvement, leaving everyone else to split the rest.
Litinsky tried to brush it off, telling Trump “the gift would have meant a huge tax bill he couldn’t pay,” Wilkerson said in an interview. “Trump didn’t care. He said, ‘Do whatever you need to do.’ ”
A few months after Litinsky refused to do as Trump had suggested, he was unceremoniously removed from the company’s board of directors, which certainly sounds like retaliation for not doing what the Donald wanted.
Though Litinsky has not spoken publicly about the incident, Wilkerson has and is now cooperating with prosecutors who are taking a close look at Truth Social, according to The Post.
Wilkerson is cooperating with investigations into Trump Media by the SEC and federal prosecutors from the Southern District of New York, said his attorneys, Phil Brewster, Patrick Mincey and Stephen Bell. Among the materials he filed with the SEC’s whistleblower office is a detailed, day-to-day computer log compiled by company co-founder Wes Moss, Litinsky and Wilkerson about their daily company-related activities.
Those investigations could serve as the end of Truth Social, which is already on the verge of financial collapse, as Trump and his partners cannot access more operating capital as long as federal regulators suspect illegal behavior by top excutives.
Wilkerson now says he believes Truth Social will fail, like so many of Trump’s business ventures have: