GOP Rep. Larry Bucshon is the second House lawmaker to disclose Trump SPAC stock purchase


Rep. Larry Bucshon, R-Ind., leaves the House Republican Conference meeting at the Capitol Hill Club on Wednesday, May 16, 2018.
Bill Clark | CQ-Roll Call, Inc. | Getty Images

Republican Rep. Larry Bucshon has bought up to $15,000 in the SPAC that is slated to take public former President Donald Trump’s planned social media platform.

The Indiana congressman purchased a stake in Digital World Acquisition Corp., or DWAC, on Oct. 25, according to a public disclosure released on Monday. The investment is worth at least $1,001 but no more than $15,000.

Bucshon’s investment is the second disclosed DWAC purchase from a member of Congress. CNBC reported last week that Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene has invested up to $50,000 in the SPAC. It also appears to be the first stock transaction disclosed by Bucshon since 2013, according to Quiver Quantitative, an alternative data firm that tracks Congressmen’s trading activities.

Bucshon, who worked as a physician and surgeon, has served in Congress since 2011. He is a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

In January, after pro-Trump rioters attacked the Capitol, Bucshon said in a statement that Trump incited the insurrection. “I cannot condone dangerous rhetoric by the president,” he said. Soon thereafter, however, Bucshon voted against impeaching Trump on charges of inciting the Capitol invasion.

DWAC is a special purpose acquisition company that would merge with Trump Media & Technology Group, a new social media company Trump said he has planned to “take on Big Tech censorship.”

A spokesperson at Bucshon’s office didn’t immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.

The stock has surged more than fivefold in extremely heavy trading in the past week and a half since the target company was announced. There have been signs that retail investors active on social media platforms like WallStreetBets were fueling the astronomical rally.

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After a wild 800% two-day rally following the announcement, the SPAC pulled back nearly 70% from its all-time high of $175 to trade around $56.20 apiece.

SPACs raise capital in an IPO and use the cash to merge with a private company and take it public, usually within two years. Early investors in these blank-check deals typically have no idea what the business combination would end up being.

At least two hedge funds that were among early investors in DWAC — Lighthouse Investment Partners and Saba Capital Management — dumped their sizable stakes last week after learning of the SPAC’s merger target.

Trump’s plans for a social media app come months after he was banned by Twitter and Facebook for inciting the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol riot by his supporters.

Former US president Donald Trump announced plans on October 20 to launch his own social networking platform called “TRUTH Social,” which is expected to begin its beta launch for “invited guests” next month.
Chris Delmas | AFP | Getty Images

The former president said he’s rolling out a social media app called Truth Social. He said the new company also will launch an on-demand video streaming service “that competes with the increasingly ‘woke’ and politicized ‘entertainment’ programming created by Big Tech and Big Media players,” and sees “opportunities to create ‘cancel-proof’ alternatives in other key areas ranging from web services to payment processing.”

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