Hmmm: Billionaire Dem donor funding rape/defamation lawsuit against Trump

(AP Photo/Noah Berger)

Just because you’re paranoid, the saying goes, doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you. Donald Trump often claims that a cabal of big-money Democrats have tried to ruin him, the Daily Beast notes. And at least in one case — the rape and defamation lawsuit pursued by E. Jean Carroll — court records have proven him correct.


You might even say it’s been LinkedIn:

Reid Hoffman, the billionaire behind LinkedIn who’s now a megadonor to Democrats, has been quietly bankrolling E. Jean Carroll’s rape case against former President Donald Trump, according to court records filed Thursday.

The surprising last-minute disclosures came out in contentious correspondence between lawyers for the aggrieved journalist and the pissed off former president, who are battling over whether to delay the trial scheduled to start in two weeks.

While it’s unclear if that payment arrangement has any material impact on the case itself, the fact that it remained secret until now will surely support Trump’s unrelenting, conspiratorial complaints that ultra rich liberals have been pulling the strings on the efforts to take him down.

Yes, it will “surely support” that claim. Clear evidence has a tendency to do that.

So who is Hoffman? He’s precisely the kind of activist progressive billionaire that Trump talks about — and for that matter, also enrages the Left when the shoe is on the other political foot. He reportedly spent more than $100 million to oust Trump in 2020, and Hoffman wasn’t and isn’t exactly murky or even coy about his ambitions, either. Vox offered a sympathetic profile of Hoffman before the 2020 election and wondered why more Democrats didn’t climb aboard his get-Trump project:

These sessions, which started after Trump’s election and haven’t previously been reported on, are just the tip of the spear of Hoffman’s fundraising machine. To win this fall, Hoffman is personally spending as much as $100 million, which is as much as almost any other individual American. But Hoffman is also the hub of a new Silicon Valley big-money network: His aides privately boast that he has raised hundreds of millions more to oust Trump by guiding the donations of a class of newly politicized donors who are now bankrolling the left.

Based on that, you’d think the Democratic Party would embrace him. Instead, Hoffman has emerged as a polarizing figure in the party — as popular in San Francisco as he is despised in parts of Washington — according to four dozen interviews with friends, Democratic donors, operatives, and officials who have worked or spoken with him and his team.

The source of this tension: Hoffman’s team thought the Democratic Party was fundamentally broken and in need of well-financed disruption. So he and the donors in his orbit began pushing the envelope and funding risky and unorthodox projects, making mistakes and enemies along the way.


Carroll’s lawsuit doesn’t get a mention in this profile as one of Hoffman’s “risky and unorthodox projects,” but it certainly qualifies. Hoffman’s aggressive politicking has largely estranged him from his former PayPal partner Peter Thiel, Insider reported a month ago. Thiel tried to salvage the friendship by suggesting that they avoid talking about Trump, but Hoffman refused. He bragged to Insider about insisting that until Thiel stopped supporting Trump, “we can’t talk about anything else,” and that he can’t “let go until the moral issue is resolved.”

Gee, what’s the morality involved in secretly bankrolling lawfare as a political maneuver? Anyone have the Hoyle’s Book of Rules read on that question?

The Daily Beast also reports, natch, that Trump’s legal team is now seizing®!!1! on this revelation:

In a letter on Thursday morning, Trump’s legal team documented how Carroll at her Oct. 14 deposition claimed that no one else was paying for her lawyers—only to have those same lawyers suddenly inform them this Monday that they indeed had a mystery backer. Trump’s lawyers say Carroll’s team wouldn’t immediately disclose who this rich donor was until several phone calls later during the week, when they reluctantly revealed that it was Hoffman and a nonprofit called American Future Republic.

“The proposition that [Carroll] has suddenly ‘recollected’ the source of her funding for this high-profile litigation—which has spanned four years, spawned two separate actions, and been before numerous state, federal, and appellate courts—is not only preposterous, it is demonstrably false. Indeed, it simply defies logic to believe that [Carroll’s] attorneys—four of whom were present at her deposition—were unaware that their own firm had ‘secured additional funding from a nonprofit organization’ to bankroll their client’s various lawsuits and ensure their bills were being paid,” they wrote on Thursday.


Indeed, opposing attorneys often “seize” on perjury, especially committed by the parties to an action. The idea that it took six months to recall that Hoffman’s checkbook bankrolled this operation is ludicrous on its face. Trump’s attorneys have already filed a motion with the court demanding some sort of sanction over this, presumably dismissal with prejudice, and accuse plaintiff’s attorneys as part of the deception. Carroll’s attorneys are trying to argue that it’s no-harm-no-foul:

“That Carroll’s counsel was able to obtain financial support almost a year after Carroll commenced litigation against Trump has absolutely no bearing on whether Trump sexually assaulted her in Bergdorf Goodman in the mid-1990s,” Kaplan wrote. “Funding obtained by counsel is not a proper topic for discovery, let alone a relevant issue at trial.”

Ahem. In the first place, a fraudulent misrepresentation in a deposition is actionable on its own. (Ask Bill Clinton about that.) However, the fact that Carroll lied about this undercuts her credibility as a witness — and since she’s the only witness to the alleged sexual assault, it matters. A lot. If this wasn’t a relevant question, Carroll’s attorneys could have instructed her not to answer it at the deposition. Instead, it appears that they were at best comically inept and unprepared for that question, and at worst may have suborned perjury.


I guess billionaire dollars don’t buy the same kind of quality that they used to buy, eh?

Now that the cat is out of the bag, one has to wonder how the media will change its coverage of the Carroll case. Perhaps not much, because it hasn’t actually received all that much attention over the years anyway. But Hoffman’s about to get a lot more attention, and it’s probably not going to be pleasant for Hoffman or his allies.

And as long as the attention shines on the LinkedIn founder, maybe some media outlets will ask about efforts at State to make his platform part of their Big Brother government-industrial censorship complex. Please?

Join the conversation as a VIP Member

Trending on HotAir Videos