Reid Hoffman, the billionaire behind LinkedIn who is now a megadonor to Democrats, quietly funded the rape case of E. Jean Carroll against former President Donald Trump, according to court filings Thursday.
The startling last-minute revelations emerged from a contentious correspondence between lawyers for the aggrieved journalist and the irate former president, who are battling over whether to delay the trial which is due to start in two weeks.
While it’s unclear whether this payment deal has any material impact on the deal itself, the fact that it has remained secret thus far will surely bolster Trump’s incessant and conspiratorial complaints that liberals ultra-rich are pulling the strings of efforts to bring him down.
Hoffman is a Silicon Valley entrepreneur who founded the professional social network LinkedIn. During the last years, Voice also identified him as a major Democratic donor who is on a mission to loosen Trump’s control over the Republican Party. According InitiatedHoffman’s distaste for Trump’s authoritarian and anti-democratic tendencies even strained his personal relationship with another Silicon Valley fixture, Peter Thiel, who conversely shaped himself as a funder of the causes of LAW.
Carroll, a longtime magazine columnist, claims Trump raped her in the dressing room of a Manhattan luxury department store in the 1990s. She wrote a tell-all memoir, Trump called her a liar of the White House, she sued him for defamation and the case has been stuck in legal limbo for nearly four years. Now that New York has passed a rape victim law extending the statute of limitations on private civil lawsuits, Carroll has again filed a lawsuit, this time seeking a lawsuit that could potentially award him money, but more importantly, branding the powerful real estate mogul seeking a second presidential term as a rapist.
Trump lawyers Alina Habba and Joe Tacopina, who have previously tried to delay the trial, are taking advantage of the bizarre nature of this eleventh-hour revelation to ask a federal judge to postpone the trial or even open another investigation. before it starts.
In a letter Thursday morning, Trump’s legal team documented how Carroll, during his Oct. 14 deposition, claimed no one else was paying for his lawyers — only to have those same lawyers suddenly inform them on Monday that They did indeed have a mysterious backing. Trump’s lawyers said Carroll’s team wouldn’t immediately reveal who the wealthy donor was until several phone calls later in the week when they reluctantly revealed it was Hoffman. and a non-profit organization called American Future Republic.
“The proposition that [Carroll] suddenly “recalled” the source of its funding for this high-profile litigation — which spanned four years, spawned two separate lawsuits, and been before numerous state, federal and appellate courts — is not only absurd, it is obviously false. Indeed, it is simply contrary to logic to believe that [Carroll’s] lawyers—four
who were present during his deposition – unaware that their own company had “obtained additional funding from a non-profit organization” to fund their client’s various lawsuits and ensure their bills were paid,” said they wrote on Thursday.
Habba and Tacopina wrote to the federal judge hearing the case that Carroll “apparently perjured herself in her deposition; his lawyer sat down and allowed him to do so, knowing full well that his testimony was false; then they conspired to conceal the truth for nearly six months, only to reveal it on the eve of the trial.
Meanwhile, Carroll’s attorney immediately filed his own letter downplaying the news. Roberta Kaplan explained that Carroll did file the lawsuit on her own, but the legal team found someone to fund the lawsuit much later.
“This Carroll’s advice was able to obtain financial support almost a year after Carroll initiated the litigation against Trump has absolutely no bearing on the fact that Trump sexually assaulted her at Bergdorf Goodman in the mid-1990s,” Kaplan wrote. “Funding obtained by the lawyer is not a suitable subject for discovery, much less a relevant issue at trial.”
U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan, who is not related to Carroll’s attorney, has yet to respond. However, at a recent hearing, he firmly stated that he plans to continue with the trial on April 25.
In his own letter, Carroll’s attorney acknowledged that Trump’s lawyers repeatedly requested information about who was paying for the lawsuit. But Kaplan explained that she opposed it and “so Trump did nothing.”
“He didn’t press or pursue the matter,” Carroll’s attorney said. She also called the payment arrangement “manifestly irrelevant”.
Trump’s legal team is using this as an opportunity to reinforce the idea that leftist elites continue to engage in underhanded political tactics, noting how Hoffman in 2018 apologized for funding a group that engaged in Russian bot-like disinformation against the Republican frontrunner during a Senate race in Alabama.