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George Soros, a mega-donor to liberal causes, spent at least $40 million in support of progressive prosecutor candidates between 2014 and 2021, according to a preliminary report published by Virginia-based Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund (LELDF).

Progressive prosecutors advocate for criminal justice reforms that will cut the population behind bars and direct resources to treatment and rehabilitation programs; they often support putting more effort into investigating and prosecuting law enforcement misconduct.

In recent years, Soros has emerged as the most visible financier of the progressive prosecutor movement in the country, donating to nonprofits that mobilize grassroots support, spending big to elect progressive prosecutors, and supporting professional organizations that guide policymaking, according to the report.

Between 2018 and 2021, Soros and Soros-backed entities spent nearly $20 million in support of 40 progressive prosecutor candidates across the nation, according to the report.

The report does not list all 40 progressive prosecutors and the amount of Soros money that was spent on each.

Fund policy director Sean Kennedy told The Epoch Times that a full report would be published at a future date.

An entity is considered Soro-backed if Soros was its sole source or primary donor, or Soros’ donations to that entity in relevant elections cycles exceeded the amount spent on candidates, according to the report.

A common strategy is to set up state super PACs, which often bear the name Justice and Public Safety, to make sizable independent spending in support of progressive candidates and to counter their opponents.

Notable beneficiaries include Los Angeles County district attorney George Gascon, Cook County (Chicago) state’s attorney Kim Foxx, Philadelphia district attorney Larry Krasner, and New York City’s Manhattan district attorney Alvin Bragg, according to the report.

Many Soros-backed prosecutors face public outcry at the spiraling crime rates under their helm.

In Los Angeles, Gascon is mired in a robust recall campaign.

Last week, the recall campaign successfully collected 567,857 signatures—the legal amount required to get the recall on the ballot; the campaign is still gathering signatures for fear some might be ruled invalid by election officials. July 6 is the deadline for the signature drive.

Last week, three Republican Pennsylvania lawmakers started an effort to impeach Krasner as violent crime skyrocketed in Philadelphia.

They are in the process of reaching out to crime victims and drafting Articles of Impeachment to be introduced into the state house, according to press releases.

Between 2014 and 2018, Soros and Soros-backed entities spent $19.3 million in local prosecutor races, according to a Los Angeles Times and Marshall Project investigation piece cited by the report.

That brings the total known Soros dollars in prosecutor elections to at least $40 million in past elections, according to the report, which is based on multiple sources that include media articles, state and local campaign finance databases, IRS forms, and organizational statements or annual reports.

Aside from election money, Soros spent millions on policy infrastructure to support progressive prosecutors’ efforts, including media relations, sponsored academic or think tank papers, lobbying campaigns, and grassroots organizing, according to the report.

This vast Soros-linked criminal justice network includes the Brennan Center for Justice, Fair and Just Prosecution, and Vera Institute of Justice, according to the report.

In 2018, Fair and Just Prosecution, Brennan Center for Justice, and Justice Collaborative developed a framework for the progressive prosecutor movement titled the 21 principles for the 21st-century prosecutors.

These principles are policy recommendations followed by progressive prosecutors across the country, including moving toward ending cash bail, minimizing misdemeanor prosecutions, and stopping prosecuting juvenile offenders as adults.

Soros’ money goes beyond supporting progressive prosecutors to other broader criminal justice reform activities in the country, according to the report.

In 2014, the Soros-backed Open Society Foundations donated $50 million to American Civil Liberties Union in support of its nationwide campaign to drive down the jail and prison population, according to a press release.

Some immediate steps taken by ALCU were to collect state inmate data and build grassroots momentum in 2016 battleground states.

In July 2020, months after the high-profile death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, the Open Society Foundations announced $200 million to mostly black-led organizations to reform the police, reduce the population behind bars, and eliminate racial disparities in the criminal justice system, according to a press release.

Soros founded the Open Society Foundations in 1979 by funding university scholarships for Black students in South Africa.

Over the past three decades, the foundation has given $18.1 billion worth of grants globally, according to its websites.

LELDF is a nonprofit dedicated to supporting and defending the law enforcement profession.

The organization also seeks to educate the public about risks and threats to the profession, according to its website.

According to its most recently disclosed tax return, LELDF brought in $2,783,208 in 2020, 96 percent from donations; it spent just as much that year, at $2,749,319, about 60 percent on public education and media relations, and 19 percent on officer legal defense.

Cara Ding

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Cara is a Chicago-based Epoch Times reporter. She can be reached at cara.ding@epochtimes.com.