Donald Trump Says Members of Congress 'Coerced' Twitter to Block Him Over 1/6 Riot

Ex-President Donald Trump has said that members of U.S. Congress pressured Twitter to remove him from the microblogging site, as he seeks to have his account reinstated.

Amid concerns that he could spur further unrest, Twitter was among social media platforms that banned Trump following the insurrection by his supporters who stormed the U.S. Capitol on January 6.

However, in a filing made on Friday, Trump's lawyers argued that Twitter had let the Taliban tweet about military victories in Afghanistan, but censored the former president when it labeled his tweets as "misleading information" or accused him of breaching the platform's rules on "glorifying violence."

In a request for a preliminary injunction against Twitter, the filing also argued that it had suspended Trump's account after it had been "coerced" by members of the U.S. Congress, Reuters reported.

Donald Trump's Twitter account image
The suspended Twitter account of U.S. President Donald Trump appears on an iPhone screen on January 08, 2021 in San Anselmo, California. Trump has accused Congress members of pressuring Twitter to ban him. Justin Sullivan/Getty

Lawyers for Trump said that the social media platform "exercises a degree of power and control over political discourse", the filing first reported by Bloomberg said. This was, "immeasurable, historically unprecedented, and profoundly dangerous to open democratic debate."

Trump also accused Twitter of double standards in its rules about COVID-19 and said that news outlets had falsely claimed social-justice protests last year were not sources of infection, while the attack on the Capitol was.

"This outright inconsistency is in line with a desire by the defendant to placate government actors who generally approved of the protests of the summer of 2020" and "generally disapproved of the events of January 6," Trump said, according to Bloomberg.

The former president had used Twitter to amplify his false claims of fraud in the 2020 election he had lost to Joe Biden to his more than 88 million followers.

He also used other social media platforms to falsely and repeatedly claim that the election had been rigged. Numerous lawsuits filed by Trump and his supporters seeking to overturn the election result failed.

But Trump has long argued that he has been censored and in July, he took legal action against Twitter, Facebook and Google, and their chief executives, saying that conservative viewpoints were being silenced.

Trump told reporters back then he wanted an end "to the silencing and a stop to the blacklisting, banishing and canceling that you know so well."

Twitter has also taken action against other supporters of Trump. Georgia Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene has been suspended from the platform before for controversial comments, including about the COVID-19 vaccine.

When contacted by Newsweek, a spokesperson for Twitter declined to comment.

Update 1/10/2021 12 p.m. ET: This article has been updated to include a response to Newsweek from Twitter.