- Eric Herschmann, a former White House lawyer, was concerned about an affidavit Trump eventually signed.
- An email obtained by Axios shows that the lawyer warned against the firm of false claims of voter fraud.
- Herschmann once asked the architect of the electoral scheme if he was “crazy.”
A former Trump White House lawyer said he was “concerned” about Donald Trump signing an affidavit confirming false allegations of voter fraud in support of a complaint, an email obtained by Axios showed.
The message referred to a lawsuit Trump and his legal team were preparing to file against Georgia Governor Brian Kemp and the state’s Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger around December 2020. The complaint was an attempt to nullify the certification of the result of the presidential elections of the state.
On Dec. 30, 2020, Cleta Mitchell, a lawyer and former Trump adviser who helped coordinate the election scheme, sent a near-final draft of the lawsuit to then-White House counsel Eric Herschmann, Axios reported. She would send another draft of the lawsuit the next day, saying it was a “John Eastman version,” 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’ll review it now. I didn’t send edits to John, I explained that I was concerned that the president would sign a fact check that may not stand up to close scrutiny.”
“I think we should limit the ‘number’ specific factual claims to those that are necessary, that is, those claims that show that the decision determines the outcome,” Herschmann wrote. The email also included Molly Michael, a Trump aide 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 statement before the committee on January 6, Herschmann recalled dismissing Eastman’s plans to uncertify the election.
“I said, ‘Are you crazy?'” he recalled telling Eastman. “‘I just want to hear two words coming out of your mouth from now on: orderly transition.'”
The email disclosure comes two days after a federal judge ordered Eastman to turn over more correspondence to the Jan. 6 committee for review. It is unclear if Herschmann’s email is one of those messages.
Eastman has been embroiled in some legal battles trying to avoid 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 must 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 “specifically” knew. The voter fraud numbers were wrong, but they continued to tout those numbers, both in court and to the public.”
“The Court finds that these emails are sufficiently related to and further 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 by saying on Truth Social that he “shouldn’t make any statements about me until he understands the facts, and he doesn’t!”