Claim: Liberal billionaire George Soros "did not contribute" to Manhattan district attorney Alvin Bragg’s political campaign.
Why it matters: Soros’s potential links to Bragg have become a hot-button issue after the prosecutor charged former president Donald Trump over alleged hush money payments to porn star Stormy Daniels. Republicans say that Soros, who funds numerous anti-Trump causes, helped Bragg get into office. Democrats have in turn accused Republicans of pushing anti-Semitic conspiracy theories that Soros, who is Jewish, is pulling the strings of the Trump investigation.
Context: Soros is by far the largest donor to Color of Change PAC, a left-wing group that was Bragg’s biggest campaign contributor. Color of Change in May 2021 pledged to spend $1 million to support Bragg’s campaign. Days after the endorsement, Soros contributed $1 million to Color of Change PAC. That was by far the largest individual donation to Color of Change that year. The next largest contribution was $50,000, according to campaign finance records.
Soros has given $1,450,000 in all directly to Color of Change PAC and millions more through other committees he funds. Democracy PAC, which is funded almost entirely by Soros, gave $2.5 million to Color of Change PAC in 2020, records show.
A progressive group called Win Justice contributed $2,025,133 to Color of Change PAC in 2020. Soros is by far that group’s biggest backer. He gave $5 million of his own money to Win Justice in 2018 and another $5 million through Democracy PAC in 2020.
Color of Change, which has long called for Trump’s prosecution, praised the Trump indictment on Thursday.
"In this historic moment, Color Of Change applauds New York County District Attorney Alvin Bragg, who refused to let corporate influence, racist right-wing attacks, and threats of violence interfere with holding the former president accountable. This is the kind of political courage we need from every district attorney in the country," said Color of Change president Rashad Robinson, who is perhaps best known for stoking actor Jussie Smollett’s hate crime hoax.
Analysis: Soros says that he "did not contribute" to Bragg and has never met the prosecutor.
"I think some on the right would rather focus on far-fetched conspiracy theories than on the serious charges against the former president," he told Semafor.
While Soros did not write a check directly to Bragg’s campaign, his cash almost certainly flowed to the prosecutor’s election war chest through the anti-police, anti-Trump Color of Change PAC. Regardless of whatever pressure Soros did or did not place on Bragg’s investigation, both he and Color of Change are happy with the outcome, as indicated by their statements about Trump’s indictment.