Conservatives blame George Soros for the inquiry as former President Donald Trump prepared for a possible indictment over hush money payments made on his behalf during his 2016 campaign.
Republicans have been decrying the prosecution as politically motivated.
The 92-year-old billionaire businessman and philanthropist, who has been wrongly accused of everything from employing violent rioters to committing electoral crimes, are unaware of the New York prosecutor leading the investigation and did not directly give to him.
The Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, who called the grand jury inquiring into Trump, has been accused of acting on Soros’ behalf by Trump and other prominent Republicans, despite this.
On Monday, Trump falsely claimed that Bragg “got more than ONE MILLION DOLLARS” from Soros on his Truth Social platform.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis termed the case a “fabricated spectacle by some Soros-DA,” while Ohio Senator J.D. Vance tweeted that the prosecutor was “purchased by George Soros.”
According to experts, the allegations take advantage of a murky area of campaign funding where there may be shaky ties between PAC donors and the candidates who ultimately receive the funds.
In addition to fostering long-standing misconceptions about Jews and immigration, scapegoating Soros—a Hungarian American and Jew—supports the argument that he is a sinister villain directing global events.
The false assertions that Soros is connected to the Trump case are based on the billionaire’s genuine donation in 2021.
To promote Bragg’s bid for district attorney, Color of Change PAC, a political organization, received a $1 million grant from Soros.
But, Soros spokesman Michael Vachon insisted that Bragg was not the intended beneficiary of the billionaire donor’s contribution to the PAC.
According to Vachon, Soros did not personally contribute to Bragg’s campaign, and the two had never spoken on the phone or online.
Following a pattern for the investor, Soros “has made numerous contributions in support of reform-minded prosecutors across the country since 2015,” Vachon said of Soros’ contribution to Color of Change PAC, which told The Associated Press it supports prosecutors looking to change the criminal justice system.
In the 2022 op-ed, Soros stated that he backs these politicians because they favor reforms such as mental health initiatives and treating drug addiction as a sickness rather than a criminal.
According to Vachon, Soros contributed around $4 million to the Color of Change PAC between 2016 and 2022, personally and through another PAC.
According to Jerry Goldfeder, a New York campaign finance expert and special counsel at Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP, “there’s no connection between the original contributor and the ultimate beneficiary the PAC has chosen to support” in a situation like this when a donor gives non-earmarked funds to a PAC whose spending he doesn’t control.
But even while it’s untrue to claim Soros sent money directly to Bragg’s campaign, it’s reasonable to say Soros-connected organizations spent a lot of money to get Bragg elected, according to political expert Hank Sheinkopf of New York.
According to information on public contributions, Soros’ son and daughter-in-law, Jonathan Soros and Jennifer Allan Soros, made a direct gift to Bragg’s campaign.
Republicans can now link Bragg to Soros with political justification, Sheinkopf said, a name that “makes people on the populist right lose their minds.”
Conservatives have long used Soros as a bogeyman because of his massive donations to liberal and anti-authoritarian organizations worldwide.
Over the years, unfounded conspiracy theories have painted him as supporting violent demonstrators and meddling in elections.
They have also erroneously claimed he is related to politicians such as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer.
According to Jonathan Sarna, a professor of American Jewish history at Columbia University, these attacks provide those who favor conspiracy theories with a straightforward explanation for a complex reality, but they also serve to advance harmful antisemitic views.
We must realize that Soros is not involved in this, Sarna stated. “Yet, it is entirely related to an ancient, antisemitic notion that, despite being a minority, Jews hold absolute power. the idea that the Jew should be sought secretly and with little visibility.
Such narratives have been connected to harm in the real world as they spread.
Before delivering pipe bombs to newsrooms, prominent Democrats, and Soros himself in 2018, a Florida man mentioned Soros on social media.
Many American Jews have been left feeling demoralized by this because they had honestly believed that we had put many of the antisemitic stereotypes to rest, according to Sarna. And lo and behold, they’ve returned.
Trump continued to promote Soros’s rhetoric in an email to supporters on Wednesday as he awaited potential indictments.
Throughout the hush-money investigation, he has denied any misconduct.