Democratic Megadonor Throws Millions Behind Lawsuit Against Fox News

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Reid Hoffman, a major Democratic donor and tech billionaire, has invested in Smartmatic, a voting machine company, in part to help fund its litigation against Fox News for its coverage of the 2020 election, The Washington Post reported.

Smartmatic is suing Fox News for $2.7 billion, alleging that the news organization harmed its business prospects by airing coverage that linked the company’s voting machines to claims of voter fraud during the 2020 election. Hoffman, a co-founder of LinkedIn, has made a multi-million dollar investment into the company, partially to help it cover expenses associated with its ongoing lawsuit against Fox News, according to the Post.

“When Reid deploys financial capital, that always has a philosophical element of protecting the rule of law,” Dmitri Mehlhorn, one of Hoffman’s advisers, told the Post. “We’ve always thought the court system was an important part of the battle to protect America from MAGA.” (RELATED: Dem Megadonor Linked To Jeffrey Epstein Gives $250,000 Donation To Nikki Haley Super PAC)

Hoffman also made a grant of an unspecified amount that helped E. Jean Carroll pay for her rape and defamation lawsuit against former President Donald Trump, The New York Times reported. These lawsuits are part of a broader pattern of Hoffman spending his money to bolster the left, with Federal Election Commission records showing that he has given millions to Democratic-aligned and anti-Trump political committees this election cycle.

“Smartmatic built a global business by using technology to better engage citizens, regardless of party or ideology, by making voting simple and trustworthy,” Hoffman told the Post, explaining the reasoning behind his investment. “After Donald Trump lost in 2020, however, Smartmatic became a target of the defamatory campaign to overturn his defeat.”

Mehlhorn added that, in addition to the ideological component, Smartmatic is “a great investment in terms of financial returns.”

American Engagement Technologies (AET), a group funded by Hoffman and staffed by Democratic operatives, ran misleading ad campaigns intended to suppress Republican voter turnout by imitating disgruntled conservatives.

The billionaire funded tech firm New Knowledge, which created thousands of fake Twitter accounts designed to appear as Russian bots during the 2017 Alabama Senate race between Roy Moore and Doug Jones in order to make it appear as if Russia was supporting Moore’s candidacy; Hoffman later apologized for his involvement with the group.

Reid Hoffman speaks onstage during The AI Optimist Club (Photo by Kimberly White/Getty Images for WIRED)

Defending its coverage of the 2020 election, Fox News has argued that it was simply reporting claims of voter fraud made by noteworthy individuals, like Trump and his close allies, according to the Post.

“As a report prepared by our financial expert shows, Smartmatic’s damages claims against Fox News are highly implausible, disconnected from reality and on their face intended to chill First Amendment freedoms, so their alliance with a high profile Democratic donor and longtime supporter of President Biden to fund their lawsuit is entirely predictable,” a Fox News spokesperson told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “We remain ready to defend this case surrounding extremely newsworthy events when it goes to trial next year.”

Smartmatic is also suing Newsmax for its coverage of the 2020 election. The company previously entered a confidential settlement with One America News over its election coverage.

Hoffman and Newsmax did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s requests for comment.

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