“I’m in for 2 … $2 million.” That was healthcare investor Fred Eshelman’s pledge after just 20 minutes on the phone with Catherine Engelbrecht, president of the small conservative group True the Vote. The head of the Texas nonprofit reached out to Eshelman two days after Joe Biden defeated Donald Trump in the Nov. 3 presidential election and she was seeking funding for a campaign to expose what she felt was voter fraud.
But less than two weeks after making the donation, by far the largest in the group’s history, Eshelman began regretting the donation and doubting claims of voter fraud. Now he’s suing the group in Texas to get his money back. Documents filed in connection with that case now coming to light show that, despite its repeated assurances to its benefactor that it was getting close to exposing illegal voting fraud schemes that benefited Biden, none of it ever came to fruition.
It’s also been revealed that True Vote had sought to coordinate its efforts with two Trump allies, Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.) and attorney Jay Sekulow.
Eshelman alleges that True the Vote did not spend his $2 million gift and a subsequent $500,000 donation as it promised it would. Eshelman also alleges that True the Vote directed much of his money to people or businesses connected to Engelbrecht.
“We were just not getting any data or proof,” said Tom Crawford, who had worked for Eshelman as a lobbyist and served as his representative on the True the Vote effort. “We were looking at this and saying to ourselves, ‘This just is not adding up.'”
Eshelman now says he believes there was “some misbehavior” in the election, but can’t say for sure if it would have changed the outcome.