Big Donor on Election Fraud Suits Wants His Money Back

Fred Eshelman sues, saying True the Vote made 'empty promises'
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 29, 2020 10:55 AM CST
Big Donor on Election Fraud Suits Wants His Money Back
Fred Eshelman cuts a cake with then-Gov. Patrick McCrory, right, celebrating Eshelman's $100 million gift to the University of North Carolina.   (AP Photo/The Herald-Sun, Bernard Thomas)

Fred Eshelman kicked in $2.5 million to support lawsuits claiming fraud in the presidential election. The North Carolina investor regularly asked True the Vote, which said it was pressing the lawsuits on behalf of President Trump's cause, for progress reports. The group had detailed a plan that included filing lawsuits in seven swing states, collecting whistleblower complaints, building support from Republican state legislators, and conducting "sophisticated data modeling and statistical analysis to identify potential illegal or fraudulent balloting." What Eshelman got, a new lawsuit says, were "vague responses, platitudes, and empty promises." So he wants a refund, Bloomberg reports. Eshelman's suit says, per the Charlotte Observer, that the organization offered to give him $1 million of his donation back in return for dropping the suit.

There's been no evidence produced that fraud cost Trump the election, but Eshelman said he's not giving up on the cause, just on True the Vote. He wants his money back so he can give it to other pro-Trump efforts. Catherine Englebrecht, president of True the Vote, said the lawsuit's allegations aren't accurate. Eshelman's money went toward starting a whistleblower program, "groundbreaking data analysis" of voter systems, and filing lawsuits, she said. The organization filed four suits, all of which were dropped. "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," the group said in a statement earlier this month. (More election fraud stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.