The Manipulation of America's Court System By Billionaires Causes Irreparable Harm
Whatever the outcome of the E. Jean Carroll rape trial, the proceedings are sullied by the discovery that Reid Hoffman, the billionaire co-founder of Linked-In, is bankrolling the case.
A federal jury in N.Y., in less than three hours, found Pres. Trump liable on 5/9/23 for sexual abuse of Carroll (rejecting the more severe charge of rape) in the 1990s and defamation. She was awarded $5 million in damages. Pres. Trump said he plans to appeal. The case clearly would never have been brought except for Hoffman’s decision to secretly bankroll it to attack Pres. Trump.
It does enormous damage to the rule of law when the public sees courts being manipulated behind the scenes by powerful private interests.
Without going into the merits of E. Jean Carroll’s rape trial against former GOP Pres. Donald J. Trump, it is of legitimate concern that her legal fees are being paid by Reid Hoffman, a prominent Democratic Party contributor who vehemently opposes Trump.
First, the jury will hear nothing about Hoffman’s financial support of the Carroll trial through his non-profit advocacy group, American Future Republic, because that information was sealed by trial court judge in the case.
Fortune reports that U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan didn’t offer an explanation when he granted Carroll’s lawyers’ request to seal material related to Hoffman bankrolling the case.
Secondly, Hoffman clearly is less interested in seeking justice for Carroll’s alleged rape than in skewering Trump.
Hoffman apologized this week after the The Wall Street Journal reported that he had visited convicted sex abuser Jeffrey Epstein’s estate in the Virgin Islands, known as “Pedo Island.”
Epstein, who allegedly committed suicide prior to his 2019 criminal trial on sex trafficking charges, was charged with sexually abusing girls as young as 14. Epstein was convicted of securing a child for prostitution in 2008.
The WSJ says Epstein made plans for Hoffman to stay at his townhouse overnight in December 2014 and scheduled Hoffman to appear at a “breakfast party” with Epstein, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, and others the next morning.
Hoffman told the WSJ that his last interaction with Epstein was in 2015 when he invited Epstein to a dinner in Palo Alto with Silicon Valley heads.
Given the Epstein connection, one could surmise that Hoffman is less concerned with sexual assault than Trump’s possible re-election.
Lawyers are governed rules of conduct that require them to refrain from concealing information that they are required by law to reveal.
Carroll testified at her October 2022 deposition that her case was brought on a “contingency” basis, which means the lawyers wouldn’t be paid unless they win. The case could be seen as a difficult one to win because Ms. Carroll could not recall the exact year of the alleged rape and never filed a police report. There was speculation that someone was paying the lawyers’ bills.
“Is anyone else paying your legal fees, Ms. Carroll?” asked Trump’s attorney...
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