News Roundup

Afternoon Briefs: Another Trump campaign loss in court; donor sues to get back $2.5M

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Top Pennsylvania court tosses challenge to mail-in ballot law

Republican plaintiffs waited too long to file a lawsuit challenging a 2019 Pennsylvania law that allowed no-excuse mail-in voting, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled late Saturday. The court tossed the suit with prejudice. (The Washington Post, Politico, How Appealing)

Donor sues pro-Trump group after lawsuits are withdrawn

Venture capitalist Fredric Eshelman has sued a pro-Trump election integrity group in a bid to get back his $2.5 million donation. Eshelman said he wants his money back from True the Vote, a Texas-based voting advocacy group, after Indiana lawyer James Bopp withdrew lawsuits in four states that had promised to find voting fraud through sophisticated data analysis. (The Indianapolis Star, Bloomberg Law, the Nov. 25 lawsuit)

Lawyer is accused of paying for plastic surgery via bank fraud

Tiffany Dawn Russell, a lawyer in Durham, North Carolina, is accused of conspiring to commit bank fraud with two other individuals by applying for loans and credit cards using Social Security numbers that weren’t issued to them. Russell, 41, is accused of using the funds to pay for her 2016 plastic surgery from a medical practice known as Dr. Curves. Russell’s lawyer, Elliot Abrams, told the News & Observer that his client “looks forward to reviewing the allegations and defending herself against these charges.” (Law360, the News & Observer, Department of Justice press release)

Judge won’t approve fees for Akin Gump absent lobbying disclosure

In an order last week, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Alan Koschik of the Northern District of Ohio told Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld to provide details about its lobbying for an Ohio bill providing a $1 billion subsidy for two nuclear plants. Former Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder and other state officials have been indicted in an alleged bribery scheme to win passage of the bill. Akin Gump represented debtor FirstEnergy Solutions, which operated the nuclear plants. Koschik wants to find out whether Akin Gump lawyers advised FirstEnergy Solutions about the transfer of money to a dark-money group called Generation Now, which is accused of using funds to win passage of the bill. Koschik said during a hearing he wasn’t making any accusations, but he wanted more details. An Akin Gump spokesperson said the law firm “will readily provide additional information to facilitate approval of the firm’s fees.” (Law360, the Associated Press,, the Akron Beacon Journal, Koschik’s Nov. 24 order)

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