Liberal mega-donor George Soros said Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg wasn’t a “Soros-funded” DA.
Mr. Soros, the liberal billionaire mega-donor, has been linked to Mr. Bragg through his Open Society Foundations that financed a wave of liberal prosecutors elected throughout the country.
“As for Alvin Bragg, as a matter of fact, I did not contribute to his campaign and I don’t know him,” Mr. Bragg told Semafor on Friday.
“I think some on the right would rather focus on far-fetched conspiracy theories than on the serious charges against the former president.”
The link between the billionaire and the prosecutor regained the media spotlight after Mr. Bragg’s grand jury voted to indict former President Donald Trump on charges stemming from a $130,000 hush money payoff to porn star Stormy Daniels in 2016.
Mr. Trump has seized on the Soros-Bragg nexus calling Mr. Bragg “hand-picked and funded by George Soros.”
The line has been echoed by several prominent Republicans who view the indictment of the former president as a politically motivated prosecution.
The charge is rooted in a $1 million donation Mr. Soros made to the Color of Change PAC, a racial justice group that heavily backed Mr. Bragg’s campaign in 2021.
In addition to Mr. Soros’ direct donation to the group, Mr. Soros’ Open Society Policy Center donated $7 million to Color of Change’s nonprofit organization in 2021.
Color of Change said none of the cash it received from Mr. Soros was specifically earmarked for Mr. Bragg’s campaign, and that it donated less than $1 million to the prosecutor.
Several of Soros’ family members gave directly to Mr. Bragg’s campaign, including Mr. Soros’ son Jonathan Soros and daughter-in-law Jennifer Allan Soros who donated approximately $20,000 combined to Mr. Bragg.
Mr. Bragg put his tough-on-Trump bona fides front and center as he faced other Democratic contenders in the 2021 race to become the top prosecutor in one of the country’s most liberal-leaning cities.
Throughout his campaign, Mr. Bragg boasted about his work overseeing the lawsuit against the Donald J. Trump Foundation while serving as New York state’s chief deputy attorney general from 2017 to 2018.
That case resulted in a judge ordering Mr. Trump to pay $2 million in damages and led to the foundation being shut down over allegations of misused funds.
The incumbent district attorney, Cyrus Vance Jr., had already begun subpoenaing years’ worth of Mr. Trump‘s financial records and was investigating possible financial fraud involving the Trump Organization by the time the race kicked off.
The New York Times noted that Mr. Bragg frequently reminded New Yorkers that he had sued Mr. Trump and his administration “more than a hundred times” in a bid to win over voters.
Republicans have accused Mr. Bragg of pursuing a politically driven crusade against Mr. Trump.
On Thursday, a grand jury convened by Mr. Bragg voted to indict Mr. Trump.
The indictment remains under seal. New York judges typically keep charges under seal until a defendant makes an initial appearance in court.
A spokesperson for Mr. Bragg said the prosecutor’s office “contacted Mr. Trump‘s attorney to coordinate his surrender to the Manhattan D.A.’s Office for arraignment on a Supreme Court indictment, which remains under seal.”
The indictment will begin a legal process that will likely require Mr. Trump to go to New York to face the charges. Mr. Trump is expected to turn himself in on Tuesday.
Mr. Trump, the leading candidate for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, called the indictment “political persecution and election interference at the highest level in history.”
“Never before in our nation’s history has this been done,” Mr. Trump said. “The Democrats have cheated countless times over the decades, including spying on my campaign, but weaponizing our justice system to punish a political opponent, who just so happens to be a President of the United States and by far the leading Republican candidate for President, has never happened before. Ever.”
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