Lawyers argue social media platform was ‘coerced’ by US Congress to suspend Mr Trump
Related video: Former President Trump holds rally
Former President Donald Trump has asked a federal judge in Florida to force Twitter to reinstate his account on the platform after he was banned following the siege on the Capitol by a mob of his supporters in January.
Lawyers for Mr Trump have filed a request for a preliminary injunction against Twitter from his home state, arguing that the company was “coerced” by members of Congress to ban the account.
Several other social media platforms also suspended Mr Trump’s accounts following the 6th January riot, which took place minutes after he gave a speech in front of the White House. Mr Trump promoted false assertions that his election loss in November to President Joe Biden was a result of voter fraud.
Attorneys for Mr Trump argued that Twitter “exercises a degree of power and control over political discourse in this country that is immeasurable, historically unprecedented, and profoundly dangerous to open democratic debate”.
The legal filing, in Florida’s southern district, noted that Twitter has let the Taliban post about its progress in taking back control of Afghanistan but restricted Mr Trump’s tweets while he was president by putting notes on his posts stating that some of them included “misleading information” or were in violation of the platform’s rules against “glorifying violence”.
Lawyers for Mr Trump claim that the argument that the former president should be banned because he may incite further violence if he was allowed to stay on Twitter is false.
Mr Trump took legal action against Facebook and Google and their CEOs in July, claiming that they illegally quash conservatives and their opinions.
The former president has repeatedly spoken about running again in 2024, but has given mixed signals as to what he will do.
Being suspended from Twitter caused Mr Trump to go “ballistic” according to an official in his administration, Politico reported at the time, adding that he was “scrambling to figure out what his options” were.
After his main account was suspended, Mr Trump started using the @POTUS and @TeamTrump accounts, but Twitter quickly removed those posts.
One of the since-deleted tweets said Mr Trump had begun “negotiating with various other sites” and that his allies would “look at the possibilities of building our own platform in the near future”.
Some conservatives then started sharing their Parler accounts on Twitter, urging their followers to move to the platform that has a significant presence among Trump supporters.
Former Trump aide and spokesman Jason Miller later launched Gettr – a platform similar to Twitter aimed at conservatives.
The Independent has reached out to Twitter and the office of Mr Trump for comment.