Lawyers for former President Trump argued in a court filing submitted Wednesday, September 22, 2021, that Twitter’s service agreement does not apply to him as part of an attempt to get the former president back on the platform.
The filing, which was submitted on behalf of Trump and several others against Twitter and its CEO, argues that the terms of service agreement did not apply to Trump “as the 45th President of the United States.”
The lawsuit claims that Trump “repeatedly used his account to report to the Citizens of the United States on virtually every aspect of Presidential activity” and was used as “a key channel for official communication.” The filing demonstrated that Twitter made clear in its terms of service agreement that it did not apply to government entities if they are unable to control law, jurisdiction, or venue clauses.
“One thing is undeniably clear in this case: Plaintiff’s account was a government account, and not a private one when he was censored,” Trump’s lawyers said in the filing.
The filing was submitted by Trump’s lawyers in an effort to stop the case from being moved from Florida to California. According to Twitter’s current terms of service agreement, “All disputes related to these Terms or the Services will be brought solely in the federal or state courts located in San Francisco County, California, United States, and you consent to personal jurisdiction and waive any objection as to inconvenient forum.”
The filing states that the “plaintiffs respectfully submit that as California has no particular interest in how Florida regulates businesses within its borders, California courts should not be burdened with enforcing Florida’s laws, and matters concerning Florida consumers should not be vested in the care of Californian jurors.”
The lawyers also say in the filing that “Plaintiffs’ access to resources to conduct extensive litigation in Northern California are limited.”
John Coale, the lead counsel for Trump and the additional plaintiffs, told The Hill that because Trump was banned while a sitting president and not as a private citizen, the terms of the agreement do not apply to Trump.
Earlier this year, Trump filed lawsuits against Twitter and Facebook after the companies took steps to suspend or ban his accounts from their platforms following posts he made after the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
Democrats and some Republicans have blamed the former president for encouraging his followers to go to the Capitol on Jan. 6 to stop Congress from ratifying President Biden’s 2020 electoral win.
While in office, Trump regularly communicated with his supporters over social media, using tweets and other posts to target political rivals and also announce policy stances or other administration news.
The moves by the social media sites to restrict Trump’s access to their platforms were seen as a blow to the former president, though he has continued to communicate through regular statements and releases from his Save America PAC.