- Eric Herschmann, a former White House lawyer, was concerned about a sworn statement Trump ultimately signed.
- An email obtained by Axios shows the lawyer warned against signing off false claims of voter fraud.
- Herschmann once asked the architect of the election scheme if he was “out of his effing mind.”
A former Trump White House lawyer said that he was “concerned” about Donald Trump signing a sworn statement confirming false allegations of voter fraud in support of a complaint, an email obtained by Axios showed.
The message concerned a lawsuit Trump and his legal team were preparing to file against Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and the state’s secretary of state Brad Raffensperger around December 2020. The complaint was an attempt to de-certify the state’s presidential election result.
On December 30, 2020, Cleta Mitchell, an attorney and former Trump advisor who helped coordinate the election scheme, sent a near-final draft of the lawsuit to then-White House lawyer Eric Herschmann, Axios reported. She would send another draft of the suit the next day, saying that it was a “version from John Eastman,” the apparent mastermind of the plot to overturn the state’s results, and included Herschmann’s “edits.”
Herschmann then responded on December 31, 2020: “I will review now. I didn’t send John edits, I explained that I was concerned about the President signing a verification about facts that may not be sustainable upon detailed scrutiny.”
“I think that we should limit specific factual ‘number’ allegations to those that are necessary i.e., those allegations that demonstrate that the decision is outcome determinative,” Herschmann wrote. The email also cc’d Molly Michael, Trump’s assistant, and former chief of staff Mark Meadows.
Herschmann did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment. In a statement to Axios Herschmann said, “I am not discussing my conversations with the president or the surrounding circumstances.”
Herschmann had previously said he expressed doubts about plans to subvert the 2020 vote.
In his deposition with the January 6 committee, Herschmann recalled dismissing Eastman’s plans to decertify the election.
“I said to him, ‘are you out of your effing mind,'” he recalled telling Eastman. “‘I only want to hear two words coming out of your mouth for now on: orderly transition.'”
The revelation of the email comes two days after a federal judge ordered Eastman to release more correspondence to the January 6 committee for review. It’s unclear if the email from Herschmann is one of those messages.
Eastman has been locked in a few legal battles attempting to fend off subpoenas for phone records and emails from the committee.
Eastman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
On Wednesday, US District Court Judge David Carter ruled that Eastman should hand over a set of emails dated between November 3, 2020, and January 20, 2021. Along with the ruling, Carter claims that some of the correspondence reveals that Trump knew “specific numbers of voter fraud were wrong but continued to tout those numbers, both in court and to the public.”
“The Court finds that these emails are sufficiently related to and in furtherance of a conspiracy to defraud the United States,” Carter wrote.
Representatives for Trump did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Trump for his part responded to Carter saying on Truth Social he “shouldn’t be making statements about me until he understands the facts, which he doesn’t!”