Biden heads to California for big Hollywood money haul, days after Department of Justice file charges against Hunter Biden


President Joe Biden kicks off a three-day, star-studded fundraising trip in California on Friday that a top campaign official boasted will rake in a record amount of cash for the Democratic president’s 2024 re-election effort.

The trip comes a day after the Department of Justice filed new criminal charges against Biden’s son, Hunter, accusing him of failing to pay $1.4 million in taxes while spending millions of dollars on a lavish lifestyle.

California – and the deep-pocketed entertainment industry – has long served as a major funding source for Democrats, but long actors and screenwriters strikes had a chilling effect on fundraising.

President Joe Biden will start his three-day fundraising trip in California on Friday, just a day after the Department of Justice filed new charges against his son. AP

The end of the labor unrest has unlocked pent-up dollars, said Jeffrey Katzenberg, a movie mogul and campaign co-chair who has emerged as an influential voice in Biden’s re-election effort.

“It will be the most successful day and a half for the campaign to date and likely one of the most successful day and a half’s prior to a general election, where things sort of kick into a whole ‘nother gear, that we’ve ever had out here for any candidate ever,” Katzenberg said in an interview with Reuters.

Biden will participate in two Los Angeles fundraisers that will include directors Steven Spielberg and Rob Reiner and musicians Barbra Streisand and Lenny Kravitz.

President Joe Biden will look to take advantage of the trip, as California is a major funding source for Democrats. AP

The California swing is part of a blitz of at least nine fundraisers Biden will hold before the end of the month.

The fundraisers in California and an earlier round in Boston are expected to raise at least $15 million, according to a source familiar with the events.

Katzenberg, who is helping organize one of the fundraisers, said the final number was still fluid.

The Los Angeles fundraisers the president is set to attend will include many star studded celebrities like singer Lenny Kravitz. AFP via Getty Images

“The number is big. I know that,” said Katzenberg, who co-founded DreamWorks Animation.

Biden will briefly stop in Las Vegas on Friday to announce $8.2 billion in funding for 10 new passenger rail projects, a senior administration official said. The projects, funded by the $1 trillion infrastructure law, include $3 billion for the nation’s first high-speed rail line, which will run through California, according to a senior administration official.

Biden will also announce a $3 billion investment to help create another high-speed rail corridor between Las Vegas and South Carolina, along with money for projects in North Carolina, Virginia and Washington D.C, the official said.

Filmmaker Steven Spielberg and musician Barbra Streisand are also other big names in attendance at the Los Angeles fundraisers. AFP via Getty Images, Getty Images for The Dwight D. Opperman Foundation

Biden has spent the last year crisscrossing the country announcing new funding tethered to his signature pieces of legislation, the infrastructure law, the Chips and Science Act and the Inflation Reduction Act.

It is part of a bid to boost his poll ratings and convince voters he is the right person to lead the U.S. economy, but recent public opinion polls show the effort has had little success.

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