Republican Congressman Ignores All that Jan. 6 Stuff to Get in on Trump’s New Tech Thing

Republican Congressman Ignores All that Jan. 6 Stuff to Get in on Trump’s New Tech Thing
Rep. Larry Bucshon (R-IN) wearing a big mask, the biggest mask anyone has ever seen, during a meeting of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health on May 14, 2020. (Photo: Greg Nash / Pool, Getty Images)

A Republican representative from Indiana who blamed Donald Trump for inciting the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol nonetheless bought somewhere between $US1,001 (A$1,347) and $US15,000 (A$20,186) in stock in Trump’s new media and tech venture, according to Insider.

A financial disclosure form submitted with the House clerk lists Rep. Larry Buchson’s investment in Digital World Acquisition Corp (DWA), which is currently the main way for third parties to get in on Trump’s venture. DWA is a Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC), or a type of shell company that is formed for the express purpose of fast-tracking another firm to getting listed on a stock exchange — in this case, by merging with Trump Media & Technology Group (TMTG) to get on NASDAQ.

Bucshon responded to the attack on him and his colleagues on Jan. 6 by releasing a statement the next day saying he “cannot condone this dangerous rhetoric by the President. Words have meaning and many of the President’s supporters took him literally, resulting in the attempted insurrection.” As Insider noted, Bucshon later decided the matter wasn’t serious enough to risk angering Republican voters and opposed Trump’s impeachment.

The disclosure forms only provide extremely broad overviews of financial investments by members of Congress, with Bucshon only required to disclose that he bought between $US1,001 (A$1,347) and $US15,000 (A$20,186) of DWA stock. The transaction is dated as occurring on Oct. 25, meaning that Bucshon bought into DWAC days after its stock skyrocketed from just below $US10 (A$13) in early October to a peak of $US94.20 (A$127) on Oct. 22, after Trump publicly announced the project.

The stock closed at just shy of $US84 (A$113) on Oct. 25 and stood at almost $US65 (A$87) on Tuesday afternoon, meaning that in just a few days Bucshon has lost somewhere between a couple hundred and a couple thousand bucks so far. Analysts have warned that the venture has no business plan and is more akin to a reckless gamble on the president’s reputation than a solid investment, which yeah, tracks. Other Republicans who purchased stock in the venture include QAnon-loving Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, though she invested between $US15,000 (A$20,186) and $US50,000 (A$67,289) on Oct. 22, possibly the highest the stock will ever be.

So far, buzz around the venture is mostly built around Trump’s promise that it will feature a “non-woke” alternative to Netflix, as well as the forthcoming launch of Truth Social, the latest in a seemingly unending series of cloned social media sites designed to appeal to conservatives disgruntled with Big Tech over fictitious left-wing bias. A Florida lawyer who may be tied to the project filed trademarks for catchy terms like “Truthing” and “Retruth” last month, but so far the only fruit the venture has borne is legal threats from the developers of the open-source Mastodon project, who say TMTG ripped off their code.

Bucshon’s office didn’t respond to a request for comment from Gizmodo on this story, but we’ll update if we hear anything back about his bet on a guy who somehow managed to bankrupt multiple casinos. Don’t hold your breath waiting for someone to give a good reason members of Congress should be allowed to play the markets in the first place.