Donor Sues Pro-Trump Group, Alleging Failure to Prove Voter Fraud

November 27, 2020 Updated: November 27, 2020

A donor to a pro-President Donald Trump group sued the organization this week, alleging a failure to prove voter fraud occurred during the Nov. 3 election.

Fred Eshelman, a money manager, donated $2.5 million to True the Vote to investigate, litigate, and publicize illegal balloting and other election fraud, according to the lawsuit.

But after wiring the money, his queries regarding updates on the efforts “were consistently met with vague responses, platitudes, and empty promises of follow-up that never occurred,” the suit states.

Eshelman, principal at Eshelman Ventures LLC and founder of Furiex Pharmaceuticals, was provided with four complaints True the Vote filed in Wisconsin, Michigan, Georgia, and Pennsylvania, but those suits were dropped on Nov. 16.

“While we stand by the voters’ testimony that was brought forth, barriers to advancing our arguments, coupled with constraints on time, made it necessary for us to pursue a different path. But our fight for election integrity continues,” True the Vote President Catherine Engelbrecht said in a statement at the time.

During a meeting with Engelbrecht and others that day, Eshelman wasn’t given specific, actionable updates on investigation issues, according to the suit. He believes the decision to abandon the lawsuits was made in concert with counsel for Trump’s campaign, which did not respond to a request for comment.

“By November 16, it had become clear to Plaintiff that Defendant’s delays and inability to make progress on its stated goals meant that it would be unable to execute on the Validate the Vote 2020 efforts that Plaintiff had agreed to fund,” the lawsuit states. Eshelman asked for his $2.5 million back, a request that was not returned. Subsequent requests didn’t yield a promise to return or action to return the money, prompting the suit.

True the Vote didn’t respond to a request for comment. A defense attorney wasn’t listed in the docket.

Engelbrecht was issued a summons on Nov. 25.

True the Vote describes itself as the country’s largest voters’ rights organization. It was founded in 2009.

The case is Eshelman v. True the Vote, Inc., 20-cv-04034. It was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas.

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