President Trump reportedly asked a Florida judge for a preliminary injunction that would compel YouTube to reinstate his access on Monday.
Trump’s lawyers argued that failure to issue an injunction would cause irreparable harm to the former president as a potential political candidate down the line and to the Republican Party as a whole.
The injunction would be a huge boon to Trump’s fundraising efforts as it would allow him to keep selling merchandise on YouTube.
Trump remains banned indefinitely on YouTube, permanently from Twitter and Facebook will reassess his ban again in 2023. The former president was deplatformed after he Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
Susan Wojcicki, CEO of Google’s parent company, Alphabet, which also owns YouTube, said in March that the former president’s channel “remains suspended due to the risk of incitement to violence” and would be reinstated if that risk lessened.
Trump filed the class-action suits against the Big Tech Titans last month, where he sought damages that could amount to ‘trillions’ for an alleged violation of his First Amendment rights.
The lawsuit alleges First Amendment violations by YouTube because it claims the video platform banned the former president at the behest of Democratic members of Congress.
He filed the suits in collaboration with the America First Policy Institute, founded by former members of his administration.
All three suits, filed in Miami and Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., also ask federal judges to declare Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act unconstitutional. The immunity protections clause protects social media platforms from being treated as publishers and held liable for their site’s content.
Last week Trump condemned Twitter for banning him but allowing members of the Taliban a platform as they violently usurped the Afghan government in Kabul.
‘It’s disgraceful when you think that you have killers and muggers and dictators and horrible … some horrible dictators and countries, and they’re all on but the president of the United States, who had hundreds of millions of people, by the way, he gets taken off,’ Trump told Newsmax in a telephone interview.
In contrast, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid has been allowed to post updates on the jihadist movement’s advance, describing how military units had captured Kabul.
Other platforms, such as Facebook, ban posts that glorify violence including sanctioned terrorist organizations such as the Taliban.
But by Wednesday, Mujahid’s account remained active with more than 322,000 followers.
A spokesman for Twitter said: ‘The situation in Afghanistan is rapidly evolving, and we’re witnessing people in the country using Twitter to seek help and assistance.
Trump’s lawyers also argued the Big Tech companies were in violation of a Florida state law that was to allow private citizens to sue them if they felt they’d been ‘unfairly censored,’ but that law was blocked by a federal judge from taking effect.
Trump has repeatedly hinted that he is planning a run but insiders say no announcement is expected until after next year’s midterms.
He dangled the idea once again this week when Sean Hannity asked him the question live on Fox News.
‘So, because the campaign finance laws are extremely complicated and unbelievably stupid, I am actually not allowed to answer that question, can you believe that? I would love to answer it,’ he said.
‘But let me put it this way, I think you’ll be happy and I think a lot of our friends will be very happy.’