Pro-Trump donor who gave $2.5m to ‘True The Vote’ campaign that promised to prove election fraud sues for a refund
- North Carolina Venture Capitalist Fred Eshelman gave $2.5m to True The Vote
- The organization promised to find whistleblowers to validate election fraud claims and to file lawsuits in battleground states
- Eshelman claims that none of that has been done since he gave the money
- He says he’s asked for detailed information about where his money went but has been ignored
- The organization is spearheaded by Catherine Engelbrecht
North Carolina Venture Capitalist Fred Eshelman gave $2.5m to True The Vote
A pro-Trump donor who gave $2.5million to a ‘True the Vote’ campaign that promised to prove election fraud is suing for his money back, claiming he does not know what it was spent on.
Fred Eshelman, 71, is a North Carolina venture capitalist who made his fortune through pharmaceutical companies. He gave $2.5million to an organization called True The Vote, hoping the money would be used to prove election fraud robbed Donald Trump of victory.
But in a lawsuit filed in Texas on Wednesday, he says he does not know what his money was spent in, and now wants it back.
He said that in the days after the election, he donated to the organization after speaking to one of its leaders, Catherine Engelbrecht, who said their motive was ‘to ensure the 2020 election returns reflect one vote cast by one eligible voter and thereby protect the right to vote and the integrity of the election.’
He says she told him there was a ‘multi-pronged’ plan which included soliciting whistleblower testimonies, building ‘public momentum through broad publicity’, and ‘galvanizing Republican legislative support’.
She also said they planned to ‘aggregate and analyze data to identify patterns of election subversion and file lawsuits in federal court with capacity to be heard by the Supreme Court of the United States.’
True The Vote is an organization in Texas which gathers donations to fund its efforts to prove election fraud
True the Vote founder Catherine Engelbrecht. She previously founded the King Street Patriots, another Republican off-shoot group
According to the lawsuit, she told him that it would cost $7.95million – more than 10 times her budget of just $750,000.
On November 5, Eshelman says he wired her $2million ‘on the condition that the money be used’ to further the cause. She then told him legal expenses would exceed the amount he’d given, so he gave another $500,000, he says, on November 13.
Since then, he says he has asked for detailed information about how the money is being used, but claims he’s been met with ‘vague responses, platitudes, and empty promises of follow-up that never occurred’.
‘In response to requests for specific and data relating to potential whistleblowers and how their allegations fit into an overall narrative, Ms. Engelbrecht would simply respond with vague comments like: “We are vetting” or “They are solid.”
True the Vote promised to find whistleblowers who would testify that there was widespread voter fraud in the election that robbed Trump of victory
‘Ms. Engelbrecht also routinely ignored repeated requests for memoranda and written reports to summarize Defendant’s efforts to identify and obtain information from whistleblower witnesses,’ the lawsuit says.
He claims that on November 16, Engelbrecht voluntarily dismissed four lawsuits filed in Georgia, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan.
It was a decision she made ‘in concert’ with Trump campaign counsel, he said.
Eshelman claims that ‘by November 16, it had become clear’ that the ‘delays and inability to make progress’ meant the organization would be ‘unable to execute’ what he agreed to pay for.
He asked them to refund the money, but says they refused, saying they’d made ‘commitments’ they had to see through.
Now, he is suing for breach of contract and conversion.
True the Vote has not responded to his lawsuit yet.