Trump enters the inevitable ‘sue everyone’ phase of his stock scam

Donald Trump’s businesses tend to pupate in predictable ways. It’s really just a two-step process when you think about it: First he scams anyone who’s foolish enough to get within spittle distance of him, and then he sues them.

When it comes to the parent company of Truth Social, we’re already in the suing phase. Maybe it’s a bit early for that, but Trump is particularly desperate these days. He needs to find new revenue streams from his current scams to pay for the predictable fallout from his previous scams, and it’s simply exhausting.

And just days after its launch, Trump’s latest public stock is already poised to make some savvy, forward-thinking people a lot of money. Those people are short-sellers and lawyers, who are currently circling like drunk buzzards over the mustering hosts of suckers and losers whose familiarity with Trump’s business practices is pretty much limited to what they’ve seen on “The Apprentice.” Or, perhaps more accurately, in Scrooge McDuck cartoons.

True to form, Trump’s suing the loyal business partners who most trusted him. Because he’s Donald Trump, and this is what Trump does and has always done. Seriously, people sending love letters to serial killers serving life sentences must look at Trump investors and wonder what the fuck is wrong with them.

The Associated Press:

Donald Trump is suing two co-founders of Trump Media & Technology Group, the newly public parent company of his Truth Social platform, arguing that they should forfeit their stock in the company because they set it up improperly.

The former U.S. president's lawsuit, which was filed on March 24 in Florida state court, follows a complaint filed in February by those co-founders, Andy Litinsky and Wes Moss. Their lawsuit sought to prevent Trump from taking steps the two said would sharply reduce their combined 8.6% stake in Trump Media. The pair filed their lawsuit in the Delaware Court of Chancery.

Trump's lawsuit claims that Litinsky and Moss, who were both contestants on Trump’s reality-TV show “The Apprentice,” mishandled an attempt to take Trump Media public several years ago, allegedly putting the whole project “on ice” for more than a year and a half.

Trump is suing the founders of Truth Social because he's Trump. They brought the deal to him but he now alleges that they don't deserve their $606 million (on paper) stake in the company. They sued him in Delaware; he's suing them in Florida. Hot mess:

— Tim O'Brien (@TimOBrien) April 2, 2024

Of course, seeing retail investors pile actual U.S. currency into Trump’s empty husk of a meme stock is a bit like watching one of those Fyre Festival documentaries and eagerly awaiting the moment the paid guests start showing up at the concert grounds. We know what’s going to happen. It’s just a matter of time. If only we could fast-forward.

The rolling Truth Social stock disaster has been covered at Daily Kos here, here, here, and here, and there are literally dozens of reasons to believe Trump’s stock is headed nowhere but south. But here’s just one, from site founder Markos Moulitsas’ recent story on this latest Trump scam:

The [8-K] filing doesn’t sound all that optimistic: “TMTG expects to continue to incur operating losses and negative cash flows from operating activities for the foreseeable future, as it works to expand its user base, attracting more platform partners and advertisers.” So what is the company doing to attract more users and advertisers? “This growth is expected to come from the overall appeal of the Truth Social Platform.” Ahh, the “vibes” approach to company-building. There is nothing wrong with losing money in order to grow. Most growing businesses do that at some point. But they also don’t go public with a measly $4.1 million in revenue. The norm for Wall Street IPOs is $100 million in revenue and significant year-over-year growth. The idea that a company that has one-third of the revenue of Daily Kos is worth nearly $9 billion is the height of absurdity. And most people know this, which is why this is destined to be a penny stock.

Of course, as Kos notes, Truth Social stock is already plummeting, because it’s a house built on sand—but without the house part. Its fundamentals are piss poor, and its prospects are little better. Remember: Trump Media & Technology Group reported $58 million in losses for 2023 and a truly anemic $4.13 million in revenue. Which is weird, because you’d think the fortnightly goat sacrifices to Trump would yield more revenue than that, if only from the associated meat sales.

So, partly because Trump famously hates when anyone but him makes money off his name, and partly because he can’t control his greed, he is suing his business partners. And if they were at all surprised when they first felt that plastic Taco Bell spork plunge into their backs, well, they shouldn’t have been.

Because Trump sues everyone! He can’t help himself. After all, he once had the audacity to sue Deutsche Bank after he defaulted on the bank’s $640 million loan. And he once sued comedian Bill Maher for saying he’d donate $5 million to Trump’s favorite charity (presumably Toys for Trumps) if Trump could prove his mother wasn’t an orangutan

And apropos of our discussion, he’s also shown a disturbing eagerness for suing—and stiffing—the little guy, whom he regards as anyone below, or above, his current height and weight.

A 2016 USA Today analysis revealed that Trump had been involved in a whopping 4,095 lawsuits over the last three decades, both as a plaintiff and a defendant. And he’s infamously added several more since then.

If he’s not suing business partners to screw them out of their duly earned windfalls, he’s exploiting weaknesses in our legal system to screw contractors out of the money he owes them. After all, suing people is a big part of his business model. 

A separate USA Today article in 2016 took a look at Trump’s self-aggrandizing abuse of our court system, and it was clear that he wasn’t just fucking over big operators like Deutsche Bank. He was using his legal clout (aka money to pay lawyers) to beat up on small businesspeople. 

USA Today:

At least 60 lawsuits, along with hundreds of liens, judgments, and other government filings reviewed by the USA TODAY NETWORK, document people who have accused Trump and his businesses of failing to pay them for their work. Among them: a dishwasher in Florida. A glass company in New Jersey. A carpet company. A plumber. Painters. Forty-eight waiters. Dozens of bartenders and other hourly workers at his resorts and clubs, coast to coast. Real estate brokers who sold his properties. And, ironically, several law firms that once represented him in these suits and others.

All these suits prompted Slate to wonder last year if anyone in the world has ever been involved in more lawsuits—either as a plaintiff or defendant—than Trump. 

Trump’s large number of legal entanglements is particularly impressive because it’s not exactly easy to bring a lawsuit in the U.S. The legal system is expensive, with a huge assortment of court fees, plus the cost of hiring a lawyer. It also moves pretty slowly. But, somehow, none of that has deterred Trump. “I find it really surprising that Trump is able to pay for this much litigation and that people continue to take the risk of representing him,” said Alexandra Lahav, a law professor at Cornell Law School.

It’s surprising, in part, because Trump has a reputation for not paying his legal bills. One of Trump’s lead lawyers for his second impeachment trial quit just days before it was set to start over a compensation dispute, according to Axios. Trump and his businesses have faced at least 60 lawsuits over unpaid wages, including 24 violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act. He’s earned a reputation of stinginess, and his recent federal election filings indicate he’s turning to his presidential campaign for help, spending about $10 million from his Save America PAC to pay for personal legal fees.

It’s not all that surprising, though. For whatever reason, people continually give Trump a benefit of the doubt that he’s never come close to earning. And that may not change until every last human on the planet has been scammed by the dude—one way or another.

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Check out Aldous J. Pennyfarthing’s four-volume Trump-trashing compendium, including the finale, Goodbye, Asshat: 101 Farewell Letters to Donald Trump, at this link.