- Eric Herschmann, a former White House counsel, was concerned about a sworn statement that Trump ultimately signed.
- An email obtained by Axios shows the attorney warned against signing false claims of voter fraud.
- Herschmann once asked the architect of the electoral system if he was “out of his mind.”
A former Trump White House lawyer said he was “concerned” that Donald Trump signed an affidavit confirming false allegations of voter fraud in support of a complaint, an email obtained by Axios showed.
The message related 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 decertify the state’s presidential election results.
On December 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 case the next day, saying it was a “version from John Eastman,” the apparent mastermind behind the plot to overturn the state’s findings, and included Herschmann’s “edits.”
Herschmann then responded on December 31, 2020: “I will review now. I have not sent John edits, I explained that I was concerned about the President signing an acknowledgment of facts that may not hold up to a detailed investigation. “
“I believe that we should limit specific factual ‘count’ allegations to those that are necessary, i.e., those allegations that show that the decision is outcome determinative,” Herschmann wrote. The email was also sent to 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 do not discuss my conversations with the president or the surrounding circumstances.”
Herschmann had previously said he expressed doubts about plans to undermine the 2020 vote.
In his statement to the committee on January 6, Herschmann recalled rejecting Eastman’s plans to annul the election.
“I said to him, ‘Are you out of your mind,'” he recalled telling Eastman. “‘I only want to hear two words come out of your mouth so far: orderly transition’.”
The disclosure of the email comes two days after a federal judge ordered Eastman to release more correspondence to the committee on Jan. 6 for review. It is unclear if the email from Herschmann is one of those messages.
Eastman has been locked in a pair of legal battles trying to fend off subpoenas for phone records and emails from the committee.
Eastman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
On Wednesday, U.S. District Court Judge David Carter ordered Eastman to hand over a set of emails dated between Nov. 3, 2020, and Jan. 20, 2021. Along with the order, Carter claims that some of the correspondence reveals that Trump knew “specific numbers of voter fraud were wrong, but continued to trumpet these 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 that he “shouldn’t be making statements about me until he understands the facts, which he doesn’t!”