Leftist billionaire George Soros denied that he knows or has donated money to Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, who indicted former President Donald Trump on Thursday, but the prosecutor’s campaign efforts were assisted by a group which Soros funds.
Bragg has called on Trump to surrender in New York for an arraignment on Tuesday amid legal proceedings over his alleged hush money payments to porn actress Stormy Daniels during the 2016 election cycle. The case, which critics have characterized as politically motivated since Bragg has earned a reputation for his soft-on-crime approach with respect to violent offenses, induced additional scrutiny into Soros and his Open Society Foundation, which promotes Left-wing justice and education initiatives around the world.
Soros has invested more than $40 million to assist the campaigns of various left-wing prosecutors across the nation over the past decade, according to an analysis published last year by the Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund. He rejected the renewed criticism on Friday by contending that he has never met Bragg and has never directly supported him.
“As a matter of fact I did not contribute to his campaign and I don’t know him,” the billionaire said in comments provided to Semafor founding editor-at-large Steve Clemons. “I think some on the right would rather focus on far-fetched conspiracy theories than on the serious charges against the former president.”
Public records reveal that Soros donated $1 million to the Color of Change PAC on May 14, 2021, which never contributed directly to the Bragg campaign but endorsed the candidate on May 8, 2021, and pledged to spend at least $1 million on direct mail, voter turnout initiatives, and other efforts on behalf of Bragg.
The Open Society Policy Center, which is funded by Soros, also contributed $7 million in 2021 to the social welfare organization linked to Color of Change, according to a report from CNBC.
Jonathan and Jennifer Soros, the son and daughter-in-law of George Soros, donated a combined $20,000 to the Bragg campaign on April 26, 2021, and April 29, 2021. They also provided smaller contributions totaling less than $1,000 in the months leading to the campaign. Bragg won his primary by less than four percentage points.
Mainstream media outlets dismissed Republican officials and their criticism of the connections. Forbes published an article labeling the concerns “conspiracy theories,” while The New York Times asserted in another article that Soros “has for years been a boogeyman on the right.”
Soros defended his decision to finance Left-wing district attorneys in an opinion piece last year for The Wall Street Journal and told Clemons on Friday that skeptics of his donations should read the article. “Some politicians and pundits have tried to blame recent spikes in crime on the policies of reform-minded prosecutors. The research I’ve seen says otherwise,” Soros contended. “In fact, violent crime in recent years has generally been increasing more quickly in jurisdictions without reform-minded prosecutors.”
The United States had at least 75 prosecutors backed by Soros as of the Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund analysis last year, which noted that the officials represent one in five Americans and half of the nation’s most populous cities and counties. They also preside over two in five homicides in the nation.