by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
A Silicon Valley billionaire who helped rehab the image of sex offender Jeffrey Epstein is now pouring major cash into the super PAC supporting Joe Biden’s candidacy.
The Unite the Country PAC, which launched in late October as Biden was posting low fundraising totals, hauled in $4.2 million in February, its newest records show. Its largest donation was $1 million from LinkedIn founder and Democratic megadonor Reid Hoffman, who previously apologized for “helping to repair” Epstein’s reputation and for funding a pro-Democrat disinformation campaign in Alabama.
The pro-Biden PAC has provided an outside cash boost to Biden’s bid for the nomination. Biden initially chastised the PAC’s formation, leading the group to shut down. Biden’s communications director said at the time the candidate “does not welcome assistance from super PACs.” The former vice president later reversed course after fundraising troubles, and the PAC began operations again. Unite the Country has since poured millions into Iowa and Super Tuesday states. It is currently running advertisements repeating two debunked claims about President Donald Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
Hoffman—the PAC’s largest donor with $1.5 million in contributions—acknowledged he had several interactions with Epstein. The billionaire tech mogul said he put Epstein in contact with others for fundraising purposes after the child molester had been charged with sex crimes. In August 2015, Hoffman invited Epstein and Joi Ito, the former director of MIT’s Media Lab, to dinner in California.