Details Emerge on What a Trump TikTok Ban Looks Like

A court filing is providing some details as to what the Trump ban might look like. This as the Trump ban takes effect today.

Yesterday, we noted that Oracle is reportedly poised to buy TikTok’s US operations. As we pointed out, there are a lot of question marks surrounding what the ban would look like once it goes into effect. Today, we are starting to get some answers on this.

Last month, we brought you news that Tiktok employees are suing the impeached president for lost wages thanks to the TikTok ban. This lawsuit is, of course, separate from the TikTok lawsuit against the president.

Today, we are learning that the Trump administration has released a disclosure in response to the employees lawsuit. From CNN:

President Donald Trump’s looming ban on business dealings with TikTok will not restrict the social media app’s employees from receiving wages or benefits, and will not make it a crime for those employees to perform their day jobs, the US government said in a court filing Monday.

The disclosure reflects the first concrete details the federal government has disclosed about how Trump’s ban against TikTok would be implemented. Trump’s Aug. 6 executive order outlining the ban has been met with confusion because it does not explain what Americans must do to comply with the order, but describes stiff penalties for those who violate it.

The filing also marks a stark reversal by the government in a legal challenge against Trump’s ban brought by a US-based TikTok employee.

On Saturday, the Justice Department filed a 16-page reply arguing that the judge should reject Ryan’s request for a temporary restraining order because Ryan’s claims were unpersuasive and unlikely to succeed. Government lawyers argued Ryan’s case rested on “speculation regarding the scope and impact of the Executive Order” and “fails to present even a serious question.”

Yet two days later, the Justice Department reversed course, outlining how Trump’s ban will not affect Ryan’s wages, or those of his colleagues, after all. The filing said that if and when Trump’s TikTok ban goes into effect after Sept. 20, the Commerce Department will not define prohibited transactions under Trump’s executive order to include “otherwise lawful actions that are part of [employees’] regular job duties and responsibilities.”

“[Ryan’s] motion for a temporary restraining order is now moot,” the government argued.

There appears to be confusion as to when the actual deadline for the TikTok ban actually is. The reports we saw earlier said that it’s going to be today. Other reports indicate that it’s set to be on the 20th. One report says that even the Trump administration doesn’t know when the ban is supposed to take effect. From Mashable:

“We’ll either close up TikTok in this country for security reasons or it’ll be sold,” Trump said while awaiting a flight to one of his reelection rallies.

When questioned about a possible extension of TikTok’s deadline to find new owners, Trump replied, “I’m not extending deadlines. No, it’s September 15. There will be no extension of the TikTok deadline.”

There’s just a few problems there. For one, Trump has already approved an extension of the original deadline. And neither the original date nor the extended deadline fall on Sept. 15.

On Aug. 6, Trump signed an executive order targeting TikTok. The order barred anyone in the U.S. from doing business with ByteDance, the China-based parent company, due to potential security issues involving the Chinese government. Trump gave TikTok 45 days to find a U.S.-based buyer.

Forty-five days from Aug. 6 is not Sept. 15. It’s Sept. 20.

As Gizmodo points out, Trump has previously referenced a Sept. 15 date before when discussing a deadline for a TikTok acquisition.

“I set a date of around September 15, at which point it’s going to be out of business in the United States,” Trump said days before signing the executive order.

Well, today is the 15th and we haven’t seen and reports on sudden shutdowns, so maybe it’s the 20th after all? At this point, who really knows? If we can’t even get a definitive date from the administration of when the ban takes place, it’s little wonder why so many other details are murky at this stage.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Facebook.



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