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A shadowy figure who is behind a sexual assault lawsuit filed against former President Donald Trump has been revealed, according to a report on Thursday.
According to court records filed on Thursday, Reid Hoffman, the billionaire who co-founded LinkedIn and is now a major donor to the Democratic Party, has been secretly funding E. Jean Carroll’s rape case, the Daily Beast reported.
The latest revelations were disclosed during a heated correspondence between lawyers representing Carroll and Trump, who are currently fighting over whether to postpone the trial scheduled to begin in two weeks.
It is uncertain if Hoffman’s financial support will have any bearing on the outcome of the case, but the revelation of the previously undisclosed funding is likely to fuel Trump’s ongoing claims that wealthy Democrats are working behind the scenes to undermine him, the outlet noted further.
Hoffman is a prominent Silicon Valley entrepreneur who established LinkedIn, the professional social network. He is also recognized as a significant Democratic donor who has made it his objective to weaken Trump’s hold over the Republican Party. According to Vox, Hoffman’s opposition to Trump’s policies has even put a strain on his friendship with fellow Silicon Valley figure Peter Thiel, who has taken on the role of funding conservative causes and candidates.
Carroll, a veteran magazine columnist, alleges that Trump raped her in the dressing room of a high-end Manhattan department store during the 1990s. She chronicled her experience in a tell-all memoir, prompting Trump to call her a liar from the White House, The Daily Beast reported further. Carroll sued him for defamation, but the case has remained stuck in legal limbo for almost four years.
Wow. Reid Hoffman, funder of various Democratic disinfo operations https://t.co/a8Cuc8qsd4
— Chuck Ross (@ChuckRossDC) April 13, 2023
With the passage of a new rape survivor law in New York, which extended the statute of limitations on private civil lawsuits, Carroll has now filed a new lawsuit seeking a trial that would potentially award her monetary compensation but, more importantly, label the powerful real estate magnate seeking a second presidential term as a rapist.
“Trump lawyers Alina Habba and Joe Tacopina—who have already tried to delay the trial—are seizing on the strange nature of this 11th hour revelation to ask a federal judge to push back the trial or even open up another round of investigation before it starts,” the outlet reported.
Trump’s legal team documented in a letter on Thursday that Carroll had claimed during her deposition on Oct. 14 that she was not receiving financial support from anyone else, only to have her lawyers inform them on Monday that she had a mystery backer.
Trump’s lawyers said that Carroll’s team was reluctant to disclose the identity of the donor until several phone calls later in the week when they revealed that it was Hoffman and a nonprofit called the American Future Republic, The Daily Beast noted.
“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,” Trump’s attorneys noted on Thursday.
Habba and Tacopina also noted in a filing to the federal judge who is supervising the case that Carroll “apparently perjured herself during her deposition; her counsel sat by and allowed her to do so, knowing full well that her testimony was false; and then they conspired to conceal the truth for nearly six months, only to disclose it on the eve of trial.”
Roberta Kaplan, Carroll’s attorney, responded immediately, The Daily Beast noted.
“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,” she wrote. “Funding obtained by counsel is not a proper topic for discovery, let alone a relevant issue at trial.”