“We are demanding an end to the shadow banning, a stop to the silencing, and a stop to the blacklisting, banishing, and canceling that you know so well,” Trump said. “Our case will prove this censorship is unlawful, it’s unconstitutional, and it’s completely un-American.
Trump was permanently banned from Twitter and suspended indefinitely from Facebook and Instagram in response to posts he made surrounding the Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol led by supporters of his. A long line of court rulings has held that such suspensions do not violate any First Amendment right, despite Trump’s claim to the contrary.
“There is no better evidence that big tech is out of control than the fact that they banned the sitting president of the United States earlier this year. A ban that continues to this day,” he said.
The lawsuit is being supported by the America First Policy Institute, a newly established nonprofit stocked with ideological allies and former Trump administration officials to advance the former president’s agenda after he left office. The litigious former president has a decades-long history of both suing, and threatening to sue, dating back to his career as a New York City real estate developer.
Trump was accompanied by Brooke Rollins, AFPI’s president and CEO, and board chair Linda McMahon. McMahon led the Small Business Administration under Trump and Rollins served as a top White House domestic policy adviser during his administration.
Trump has bitterly complained about losing his social media megaphone in the wake of the Jan. 6 insurrection, arguing that his explusion from those platforms is evidence of bias against conservative speech by the tech giants. In June, Facebook announced that the earliest Trump would be allowed to regain access to his accounts would be 2023.
Several copycat social media platforms have sprouted up that market themselves as friendlier turf for the MAGA faithful, including one recently backed by Trump adviser Jason Miller that has ties to Guo Wengui, a Chinese billionaire who is close to right-wing firebrand Steve Bannon.
Trump has pursued several alternative avenues to get his message out as he remains a central force in GOP politics, including an abortive foray into blogging that lasted roughly a month. But he has not signed onto the Miller-backed Twitter competitor, called GETTR.
A spokesperson for Twitter declined to comment on Trump’s announcement, and representatives for Facebook and Google did not immediately return a request for comment on the legal action.
Axios first reported Wednesday morning on Trump’s lawsuit.