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Epstein-linked billionaire donor quietly propels Democrat in highly contested California race

Billionaire LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman, who helped rehab convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein’s image and visited his island, has assisted California Democrat Will Rollins’ candidacy, who is again trying to grab a congressional seat after a narrow loss during the 2022 elections. 

‘I think we built a really great foundation for flipping the seat in ’24, and I’m not masochistic enough to do it twice without knowing I can win,’ Rollins said while announcing his candidacy in May.

Hoffman will likely be an integral benefactor for his renewed attempts to oust Republican Rep. Ken Calvert in the Golden State’s 41st congressional district, which is shaping up to be a highly competitive race.

Hoffman has already thrown cash toward the former federal prosecutor’s candidacy this time around. According to new Federal Election Commission records, he sent the maximum $6,600 donation to Rollins’ campaign on June 14. The cash followed a $2,900 contribution he passed to his committee during the last election cycle, according to filings.

But the entrepreneur appears to have significantly boosted the California Democrat’s prior efforts by funneling money to an outside group called the Welcome PAC, which then spent large sums backing Rollins – a move Hoffman could replicate during the 2024 election.

Hoffman handed the Welcome PAC nearly $1.2 million throughout the 2022 election, or more than half the $2 million in total receipts, federal filings show. The Welcome PAC, in turn, poured $597,408 into independent expenditures backing Rollins’ candidacy. 

The Welcome PAC’s cash funneled into Rollins’ race accounted for roughly 76 percent of its independent expenditures throughout the 2022 elections.

Rollins lost the election by four percentage points, but national Democrats were ‘hearted’ by his overperformance in the district and believe he can pull off the upset, Politico reported. The publication noted Trump narrowly won the district in 2020, and Democrats are confident Biden will take it in 2024.

Hoffman, who has become a Democrat mega-donor in recent years and could again significantly boost Rollins, previously helped to repair Epstein’s image. It was also recently reported that he had gone to Epstein’s island years ago.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Hoffman visited Epstein’s private island, Little St. James, part of the U.S. Virgin Islands, on at least one occasion in 2014.

Hoffman and Epstein were planning to return to the island in November 2014 and then travel to Boston, according to the report. It’s unclear what the intent was for those planned trips, but the report also revealed Hoffman was planning to stay at Epstein’s luxury Manhattan townhouse in December 2014 after a late arrival in New York City.

Hoffman earned headlines last month after Biden attended a fundraiser he hosted on behalf of the super PAC at the private residence of Shannon Hunt-Scott and Kevin Scott in Los Gatos, California.

In May, Hoffman told The Journal it ‘gnaws at’ him that his association with Epstein ‘helped his reputation, and thus delayed justice for his survivors.’

‘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,’ Hoffman said in 2019. ‘For this, I am deeply regretful.’

In the 2015 interaction, he invited Epstein to a Silicon Valley dinner with tech industry leaders.

In September of that year, Hoffman attended a state dinner hosted by then-Vice President Biden at the White House in honor of Chinese President Xi Jinping.

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 the impression that the Russian government was supporting Alabama Republican Roy Moore in a 2017 special Senate election.

He also bankrolled the rape lawsuit brought by E. Jean Carroll against former President Donald Trump earlier this year.

‘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.’

The Rollins campaign did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.

Fox News’ Aaron Kliegman contributed reporting.

This post appeared first on FOX NEWS

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