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Dem Donor Who Funded Election Disinfo, Lawfare Is Backing Suit To Silence Election Journalism

Reid Hoffman, who backed a disinformation campaign and helped fund lawfare against Trump, is funding a suit against Fox News and Newsmax.

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Billionaire and top Democrat donor Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn, has been revealed to be funding a lawsuit to silence election reporting. Hoffman is the same Democrat donor who funded a “Russian-style” disinformation campaign in 2017, financially backed E. Jean Carroll’s suspicious lawsuit against Donald Trump, and visited pedophile Jeffrey Epstein’s private island.

Hoffman is investing millions in Smartmatic, the electronic tabulator company suing Fox News and Newsmax for defamation following the 2020 election, according to The Washington Post. Hoffman said he intends to help keep the company afloat, as it has been pursuing expensive legal retribution against the outlets for their election reporting.

In a statement to The Washington Post, Hoffman claimed “Smartmatic became a target of the defamatory campaign to overturn [Trump’s] defeat.”

Fox and Newsmax hosted commentators who aired concerns that tabulators were not secure, were vulnerable to voter fraud, and had possibly changed Trump votes to Biden votes. Smartmatic alleges that hosting these discussions constituted defamation. Fox settled a suit with Dominion Voting last year over similar allegations. 

In a statement to The Federalist, a Fox News representative said “As a report prepared by our financial expert shows, Smartmatic’s damages claims against FOX News are highly implausible, disconnected from reality and on their face intended to chill First Amendment freedoms, so their alliance with a high profile Democratic donor and longtime supporter of President Biden to fund their lawsuit is entirely predictable. We remain ready to defend this case surrounding extremely newsworthy events when it goes to trial next year.”

Notably, some news reports raised well-founded tabulator concerns. Tabulator software in Antrim County, Michigan glitched in November 2020, counting 6,000 Republican votes as Democrat. 

Fox has long expressed concerns that there was a deep-pocketed “third party” behind the lawsuit. Smartmatic denied this in 2023, according to Reuters.

“Fox was apparently wrong all along about Smartmatic’s funding: No outsider is paying Smartmatic’s litigation costs,” the article confidently claimed, citing Smartmatic’s attorney.

It is unclear when Hoffman started investing in the company. Dmitri Mehlhorn, an adviser to Hoffman, admitted the billionaire saw the “court system” as an “important part of the battle to protect America from MAGA.”

Funding A ‘Russian-Style’ Disinformation Campaign

Hoffman funded a false information campaign that used “Russian tactics” against Republican Roy Moore, an Alabama candidate for U.S. Senate, according to The New York Times

Hoffman and Mehlhorn created “Investing in US” after the 2016 election, an investment fund used to funnel money to left-wing groups. One such group was American Engagement Technologies, or AET, which received a total of $750,000 in 2017. AET helped run the $100,000 scheme that used Russian-style tactics to reduce Moore’s support. 

Participants in the operation created a Facebook page, seemingly run by Alabamians, to advocate for a conservative “write-in candidate” that would split the Republican vote. Democrat Doug Jones narrowly defeated Moore. 

Hoffman apologized for his role in the scheme, saying he “disavow[s]” the use of “misinformation” to win elections. 

The same year, Hoffman gave air time to the hoax that accused then-President Donald Trump of colluding with Russia.

“FBI is taking this duty seriously – investigating Trump’s ties to Russia and potential corruption,” Hoffman posted on X in 2017. “But will Trump let the FBI do its job?”

Backing Anti-Trump Lawfare

Hoffman also helped bankroll E. Jean Carroll’s lawsuit against Trump, according to court documents cited by The New York Times. Carroll accused Trump of raping her in a department store dressing room and sued him for defamation when he denied it. Carroll declined to press criminal charges against Trump because she said, bizarrely, that she “would find it disrespectful to the women who are down on the border who are being raped around the clock.”

The Hoffman-backed nonprofit American Future Republic provided funding for the lawsuit, according to Forbes. Mehlhorn told the outlet Hoffman provides funding to clients who often do not know where the money comes from, in order to “protect our citizens from violent threats.” In a civil trial with a lower standard of proof than a criminal case, Carroll won $2 million for the alleged assault and $3 million for the alleged defamation.

Visiting Jeffrey Epstein

Notably, the mega-donor was also involved with Jeffrey Epstein. He visited the pedophile’s private island, Little St. James, at least once in 2014, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Hoffman said he took the trip to Epstein’s island with Joi Ito, then-director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Media Lab, to fundraise for the school, the WSJ reported. Hoffman claimed he only visited the island once.

Epstein, however, had scheduled for Hoffman to visit the island in both March and November 2014, according to the WSJ.

And when Hoffman had a flight scheduled to New York in December of that year, “Epstein arranged for Mr. Hoffman to stay overnight in his townhouse” and attend a breakfast party the next morning with guests including Bill Gates, the WSJ reported.

Hoffman told the WSJ his last interaction with Epstein was in 2015, the same year he invited the pedophile to a Palo Alto dinner. He said he regretted interacting with Epstein, as his association helped bolster the abuser’s reputation.

Sponsoring Left-Wing Agendas

Hoffman is one of the top backers of Democratic causes. He is President Joe Biden’s second-largest donor, according to Forbes, having given $17.7 million to Biden groups.

The tech mogul made his main appearance on the political scene during the 2016 presidential election, after which he founded left-wing groups and fundraising efforts to “oppose” then-President Trump, according to Influence Watch. He even created “Trumped Up Cards,” a parody of the game “Cards Against Humanity” in mockery of Trump.

In addition to American Engagement Technologies, Hoffman and Mehlhorn’s Investing in US was a major funder of many other left-wing advocacy and electoral groups, including Indivisible, Vote.org, and “Woke Vote,” according to Influence Watch.

Investing in US has also “invested at least $20 million in Alloy,” a Democratic data exchange program, and it invested heavily in ACRONYM, the group behind a failed left-leaning voting program early in the 2020 cycle.

Hoffman spent more than $3.3 million on the House Majority PAC from 2018 to 2019, and $3 million on the Senate Majority PAC from 2018 to 2020, according to InfluenceWatch. He spent millions on Democratic causes during this time, pledging $100 million to oppose Trump and the GOP in 2020. In 2023, according to The New York Times, he also gave $250,000 to a Nikki Haley super PAC.

This article has been updated since publication.


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