Victories in local US attorney races connected to billionaire George Soros are increasingly starting to raise questions, writes Fox News.
The American billionaire investor and philanthropist, known for his lavish donations to political causes, is reportedly conducting an ongoing campaign to influence local law enforcement, according to Dan Gainor, vice president at the conservative Media Research Center.
"This has been a Soros-funded operation for several years, designed to influence local legal systems around the country," he was quoted as saying by the outlet on Wednesday.
Gainor, whose Media Research Center tracks funding from Soros-backed entities, cited a Los Angeles Times report dated 2018 that claimed the former hedge fund manager had spent over $16 million on county races outside of California.
The same report alleged that the billionaire's spending in California had surpassed $2.7 million.
Gainor adds that the philanthropist’s Open Society Foundations awarded the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) a grant of $50 million in 2014 in support of its nationwide campaign to reform criminal justice policies.
"Soros knows that district attorneys and states' attorneys have incredible power. He threw $2 million into the campaign of Cook County States Attorney Kim Foxx, who dropped the charges in the Jussie Smollett case," stated Gainor.
Megadonor Funding Local Attorneys
The current election cycle has been marked by an increasing number of local attorneys winning elections with the help of money connected to George Soros.
Thus, the philanthropist donated at least $1.5 million to the California Justice and Safety Political Action Committee (PAC), which backed Democrat George Gascon of Los Angeles.
After receiving an estimated $80,000 in advertising funding from the same PAC, Shalena Cook Jones, the Democratic district attorney-elect for Chatham County in Georgia, also won her race, according to the Athens Banner-Herald.
Similarly, Soros' PACs are reported to have funnelled $116,000 to Circuit Attorney Kimberly Gardner's successful re-election bid in St. Louis.
Previously, a report by The Washington Post stated that progressive challengers had successfully ousted incumbents after receiving close to $1 million in financial support from the Justice and Public Safety PAC in Arlington and Fairfax Counties' 2019 Democratic prosecutor primaries.
Soros backed Parisa Dehghani-Tafti to beat Arlington County Commonwealth's Attorney Theo Stamos, and supported former Justice Department employee Steve Descano in his race against Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Raymond Morrogh.
The campaign finance reports cited by Fox News showed Dehghani-Tafti had received $583,000 and Descano $392,000 from the PAC.
In 2016, a Republican running for district attorney in Henry County, Georgia, stood down after Soros Fund Management threw its weight behind his opponent.
“After consulting with my family and trusted advisers, it has become clear that we will most likely not be successful against an unlimitedly financed opponent, and I refuse to put my family through what has transpired in other Soros-backed elections," attorney Matt McCord was quoted as saying at the time.
McCord’s successful rival, current District Attorney Darius Pattillo, had denied claims at the time that Soros had donated directly to him or his campaign.
Pattillo and Shalena Cook Jones were cited as alleging the heightened focus on Soros was no more than a distraction.
"[B]y fanning the flames of George Soros and making them think there's a ghost behind the curtain, we are getting away from the principles of equality and justice for all and that's the only thing I'm trying to offer these people," said Shalena Cook Jones.
According to Dan Gainor, while George Soros might have been turned into a 'boogeyman' figure, his influence is real. There has not been any official comment on the report from The Open Society Foundation, founded by George Soros.
In 2019 Attorney General William Barr issued a warning over liberal billionaire George Soros “bankrolling radical prosecutor candidates” in cities across the country.
Barr warned that if continued, the trend might result in a surge in violent crime, appearing in an interview on Fox News’ "The Story".
"There's this recent development [where] George Soros has been coming in, in largely Democratic primaries where there has not been much voter turnout and putting in a lot of money to elect people who are not very supportive of law enforcement and don't view the office as bringing to trial and prosecuting criminals but pursuing other social agendas," Barr told Martha MacCallum.
"We could find ourselves in a position that communities that are not supporting the police may not get the police protection they need."
Earlier this year, amid Black Lives Matter protests against racial injustice and police brutality that swept the US sparked by the death of black man George Floyd in police custody, an anti-deportation group called Organized Communities Against Deportation (OCAD) was reported to be affiliated with Soros’ Open Society Foundations.
Breitbart reported the group had pursued its agenda "as far back as early 2016" when they held a protest in Chicago demanding to "defund the police" and "dismantle ICE".
The media outlet also added that OCAD had declared via social media it intended to continue to display support for the Black Lives Matter movement, stating that "our liberation is dependent on Black liberation!"