A billionaire Democratic mega-donor who’s currently bankrolling a rape lawsuit against former President Donald Trump visited the infamous private island of sex offender Jeffrey Epstein and was scheduled to stay at his Manhattan townhouse in 2014, according to a report published Wednesday.
The Wall Street Journal obtained documents that show Reid Hoffman, a founder and former executive chairman of LinkedIn, made a trip to Epstein’s island in the Caribbean, Little St. James – also known as “pedophile island” – where Epstein and his associates were accused of trafficking and sexually abusing underage girls.
Joi Ito, then-director of MIT’s Media Lab, had asked both Hoffman and Epstein to help him raise money for MIT, leading Epstein to make plans for Ito and Hoffman to visit his private island in March and November 2014. For the latter date, Epstein planned to travel with both men from Palm Beach, Florida, to the island for a weekend and then fly together to Boston.
Epstein, a financier, also arranged for Hoffman to stay overnight in his townhouse when the LinkedIn founder was supposed to land late at night in New York in December 2014. According to the documents, Hoffman was scheduled to attend a “breakfast party” with Epstein, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and others.
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However, Hoffman told the Journal that he visited Epstein’s island only once for MIT fundraising with Ito and that he regrets meeting the accused pedophile.
“It gnaws at me that, by lending my association, I helped his reputation and thus delayed justice for his survivors,” said Hoffman. “While I relied on MIT’s endorsement, ultimately I made the mistake, and I am sorry for my personal misjudgment.”
Ito confirmed he was the catalyst for Hoffman meeting Epstein, noting that MIT said the sex offender was fine to pursue for fundraising.
“Reid attended a few fundraising events at my request, including one trip to Little St. James, after I confirmed to Reid that Mr. Epstein had been an approved donor target for MIT in accordance with university rules and regulations,” Ito told the Journal.
A few weeks after Epstein was found dead in his prison cell in 2019 while facing federal sex trafficking charges, Ito revealed that he took $525,000 from Epstein for the MIT lab and $1.2 million for his own investment funds. Ito apologized for accepting money from the disgraced financier and resigned from his position. MIT said it later donated $850,000 to nonprofits that support survivors of sexual abuse.
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Hoffman’s ties to Epstein extend beyond the planned 2014 meetings. The Democrat mega-donor has also admitted to inviting Epstein and Ito to dinner in Palo Alto, California, in 2015 with Silicon Valley leaders.
Hoffman had previously apologized for “helping to repair” Epstein’s image by rubbing elbows with him after the sex offender was arrested in 2019, saying 2015 was the last time they interacted.
“My few interactions with Jeffrey Epstein came at the request of Joi Ito for the purposes of fundraising for the MIT Media Lab,” Hoffman said at the time. “Prior to these interactions, I was told by Joi that Epstein had cleared the MIT vetting process, which was the basis for my participation. My last interaction with Epstein was in 2015. Still, by agreeing to participate in any fundraising activity where Epstein was present, I helped to repair his reputation and perpetuate injustice. For this, I am deeply regretful.”
Epstein had pleaded guilty in 2008 to soliciting and procuring a minor for prostitution and had a decades-long association with Ghislaine Maxwell, who in 2021 was convicted on federal charges of sex trafficking and conspiracy for helping him procure girls for child sexual abuse and prostitution.
Despite his ties to Epstein, Hoffman has hardly hidden from the public eye. Last month, for example, he publicly defended his bankrolling of E. Jean Carroll’s rape lawsuit against Trump.
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“While Trump’s legal team has characterized my support of Carroll’s lawsuit as ‘secret,’ I want to be clear that I’ve never taken any steps to hide the financial support that I have provided to this lawsuit after it started,” Hoffman wrote in an online post. “Secondly, and more importantly, while media attention is focused on this specific story, let’s not forget the overall point: the rule of law and the ideal that our courts are a mechanism of justice for all citizens, not just those with enough money and power to rig the game in their favor.”
Carroll, a journalist and advice columnist, accused Trump of raping her in a Bergdorf Goodman department store changing room in the 1990s. Trump denied the allegations and called Carroll a liar. In response, Carroll filed a defamation lawsuit against the former president that remains pending and a battery lawsuit that’s begun in Manhattan federal court. Lawyers for Trump tried unsuccessfully to delay the case.
Hoffman wrote that in addition to Carroll, he’s supported several other “grantees,” listing other examples of litigation that he’s backing.
“In and out of court, women have been one of the main groups that Trump has singled out,” the mega-donor wrote on LinkedIn. “Trump’s hostility to women has been a dominant feature of his ideology for his entire adult life. Supporting women fighting for progress and justice in philanthropy, politics, and business has been a longstanding priority of mine, as is supporting America against the threat of Trump – a stance that I’ve not only made public, but also have prioritized over recent years. … I have been proud to help level the playing field in the courts for those whom Trump and his allies have attacked and bullied.”
Despite Hoffman’s admission that he has been bankrolling Carroll’s lawsuit, a federal judge agreed to seal material containing details about the funding at the request of her lawyer.
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Hoffman, a venture capitalist and one of Silicon Valley’s top donors to Democratic campaigns and political action committees, said in an interview from March that he “will spend as much as I possibly can and it takes and is effective” to beat Trump in the 2024 presidential election. The political heavyweight has donated millions of dollars to left-wing groups.
Fox News Digital has previously reported that Hoffman’s money also goes into nontraditional groups that aren’t mandated to report their funding and often operate in the shadows. He was forced to issue an apology in 2018 for funding a group that falsely tried to give an impression that the Russian government was supporting Alabama Republican Roy Moore in a 2017 special Senate election.
President Joe Biden has benefited from Hoffman’s lavish spending on campaign contributions, donating $1.5 million to a super PAC that supported Biden’s candidacy in the 2020 election as well as the maximum individual dollar amount allowed to Biden’s campaign, according to Federal Election Commission records.
Such spending can come with certain perks – such as access. According to White House visitor logs, Hoffman visited the White House five times last year. One of the visits appears to have been for the state dinner with French President Emmanuel Macron. The other four trips were for meetings with Madeline Strasser, who at the time advised then-White House chief of staff Ron Klain; Kimberly Lang, who at the time was the executive assistant to Biden’s national security adviser; and Jordan Finkelstein, a special assistant to Biden and chief of staff to the president’s senior adviser.
The White House and Hoffman did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s requests for comment.
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