Trump won’t drop lawsuit against Twitter despite being reinstated to platform, lawyer says

The lawyer representing former president Donald Trump in the lawsuit he filed after he was previously banned from Twitter has said he will not drop the case despite having been reinstated to the platform by the company’s new owner, Elon Musk.

Attorney John Cole told Bloomberg News that Mr Trump will continue to appeal the case’s dismissal by a California federal judge unless the company enters into an agreement to formally settle the lawsuit.

The twice-impeached ex-president filed the lawsuit in July 2021, six months after then-CEO Jack Dorsey announced that Mr Trump’s account had been permanently suspended from the platform in the wake of the January 6 attack on the Capitol.

In a civil complaint against the company, Mr Trump alleged that the ban amounted to state action in violation of the First Amendment to the US Constitution because prominent Democrats had previously made statements suggesting that he should be prohibited from accessing the platform, which he used during his presidency to announce hirings and firings, roll out policy decisions, and incite harassment and threats against his real or perceived political opponents.

In May, US District Judge James Donato granted Twitter’s motion to dismiss the suit, writing that “the comments of a handful of elected officials” were “a far cry from a ‘rule of decision for which the State is responsible’” and adding that it was “not plausible to conclude that Twitter or any other listener could discern a clear state rule” from Democratic legislators’ comments.

The next month, Mr Trump filed papers to give notice that he was appealing Judge Donato’s ruling to the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which has not yet scheduled any oral arguments on the matter. But earlier this month, Mr Musk announced that the ex-president’s account had been reinstated based on an unscientific poll he posted on the site.