HOUSTON — A Houston organization that made unfounded claims of voter fraud after President Trump lost the election is being sued by a major donor.
North Carolina investor Fred Eshelman gave True the Vote $2.5 million to help pay for lawsuits challenging the election results.
Now, he’s the one suing.
Eshelman wants his money back, claiming True the Vote didn’t do its job.
True the Vote filed four lawsuits in key battleground states where founder Catherine Engelbrecht alleged votes were counted illegally. They offered no proof and the group’s attorney dropped all the suits last week.
“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 posted on its website on Nov. 17.
Eshelman’s lawsuit claims True the Vote broke its promise to “investigate, litigate, and expose suspected illegal balloting and fraud.”
He said his repeated requests for updates “were consistently met with vague responses, platitudes, and empty promises.”
But the conservative group tells a very different story.
They say they weren’t familiar with Eshelman when his consultants contacted them and offered the large, unsolicited donation.
“The donation was used to establish a whistleblower program, to provide resources for attorneys to file suit in federal court on behalf of voters in four states, and to provide resources for groundbreaking data analysis of voter registrations systems, voting records, and other election related analyses,” True the Vote said in a lengthy statement. “We have continued to pursue this work. The federal lawsuits were ultimately dismissed for reasons unrelated to the other work being performed.”
A week after making the donation, the group says Eshelman sent them an invoice directing them to send $1,000,000 to a “non-profit” they’d never heard of.
“This is a company without so much as a website, True the Vote said. “We had no agreement with that company and had not received any services from it.”
A spokeswoman said the Eshelman’s consultants were furious when they refused to send the money and they filed the lawsuit days later.
“When the consultants called us on November 5, it seemed like an answer to prayer. Now, it seems like a nightmare.” True the Vote Founder and President Catherine Engelbrecht told KHOU 11.
More than 30 lawsuits making baseless claims of election fraud have been tossed out by judges or withdrawn.
The latest blow for Trump's legal team came Friday when a federal appeals court in Philadelphia rejected a lawsuit that challenged the election results.
The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals echoed a string of other courts in finding the Trump campaign offered no evidence of any electnion fraud. Instead, the court said "the campaign's claims have no merit."