Republican Who Gave Millions to Investigate Voter Fraud Wants His Money Returned

Tara C. Mahadevan
·2 min read

Image via Getty/Spencer Platt

A Republican who donated $2.5 million to a conservative nonprofit focusing on voter fraud in the 2020 election wants his money back.

The Washington Post reports that the donor, Fred Eshelman gifted the money to an investigation launched by Texas-based group, True the Vote, which pledged to reveal voter fraud. “I thought about the range of possibilities around vote fraud,” he told The Post. He wasn’t knowledgeable about the organization before the election. Now, it seems that he regrets his decision, as he’s taken True the Vote to court.

“There was already noise around cities like Detroit, Milwaukee, Atlanta and Philadelphia.” He added, “I wanted to determine if this was legit. Can we find a real smoking gun?”

Using Eshelman’s money, the organization spearheaded a number of lawsuits and worked to find those who could vouch for election voter fraud. True the Vote ended up failing and discontinuing the cases. Eshelman then demanded to have his money returned, of which the group said they could give back $1 million. Eshelman has since filed two lawsuits.

Though he’s withdrawn his federal suit, his Texas state suit is still open. In both lawsuits, Eshelman alleged that True the Vote didn’t use his donations as it said it would. The organization has fired back, alleging that the money was used accordingly. A lawyer for the group also said that Eshelman didn’t impose any conditions on the funds. Eshelman hasn’t received any of his money back.

True the Vote had the same aim as the Trump campaign, which was hoping to invalidate Joe Biden’s win through a series of lawsuits that were ultimately dismissed or withdrawn. Eshelman still thinks there was “some misbehavior” in last year’s election. “But do I believe it might have risen to a degree that would change the electoral outcome?” he told the outlet. “I don’t know.”

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