Brett Favre hires ex-Trump lawyer amid scrutiny over his involvement in welfare fraud scheme

Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre has hired former Donald Trump lawyer as he continues to battle allegations of his involvement in a $77million welfare fraud scandal dollars in Mississippi.

Favre hired Eric Herschmann, the attorney who represented Trump in his first impeachment trial and was known to be the former president’s senior adviser during his tenure.

Herschmann confirmed to Axios, via Front Office Sports, that he was indeed Favre’s lead lawyer after his longtime lawyer, Bud Holmes, was removed from his post.

Herschmann has reportedly been subpoenaed by a federal grand jury investigating events in Washington DC on January 6, 2021.

The ex-Green Bay Packer should not be charged – according to his new lawyer – but has a convincing defense if that were to be the case.

“I only agreed to represent Brett Favre after doing my independent due diligence and was satisfied that he had done nothing wrong,” Herschmann told Axios.

“Brett enthusiastically tried to help his alma mater, a public university, which needed and wanted his help.

Brett Favre (above) has hired Donald Trump’s former senior adviser and top lawyer

The former president and Favre are longtime acquaintances and occasional golf buddies

The former president and Favre are longtime acquaintances and occasional golf buddies

“To be clear, Brett had no idea that social funds were being used or that others were involved in illegal behavior,”

Favre has not been charged, but has been linked to the scandal for diverting $77 million in welfare money to various people and pet projects, and he has personally received $1 million gigs that he doesn’t. did not attend.

Although he has returned the money, he has so far refused to pay the $228,000 in interest charged to him by the state. Favre claimed last year that he did not know the money he received came from social funds. However, a text message that recently surfaced in 2017 shows Favre asking nonprofit organizer Nancy New “can the media find out where he’s from and how much anyway?”

Holmes told Front Office Sports on Thursday that he no longer represents Favre in the matter. Holmes, who said he was asked not to comment further on the matter, did not know the name of the new lawyer or that lawyer’s firm.

Favre's new lawyer, Eric Herschmann, thinks Favre is unlikely to be charged for his actions

Favre’s new lawyer, Eric Herschmann, thinks Favre is unlikely to be charged for his actions

It was reported last week that Favre’s charity – aimed at helping underprivileged, disabled children and breast cancer patients – has donated more than $130,000 to the University of Southern Mississippi Athletic Foundation. from 2018 to 2020, according to recently released tax documents obtained by The Athletic and ESPN.

It was during this time that Favre was working to fund a new volleyball stadium at the school — a project that fell under the microscope amid the biggest public fraud case in Mississippi history. Newly emerged text messages show Favre’s alleged efforts to divert $5 million from state welfare to the project.

Favre 4 Hope’s mission statement says the organization cares for “underprivileged and disabled children and breast cancer patients,” but a significant portion of donations were used to fund USM sports, according to the tax records.

Herschmann represented Trump in his first impeachment trial and was a trusted aide to Trump

Herschmann represented Trump in his first impeachment trial and was a trusted aide to Trump

In 2018, her foundation donated $60,000 to USM Athletics, while handing out $10,000 in checks to all other organizations she donated to that year. Then, in 2019, the USM Athletic Foundation received $46,817 from Favre 4 Hope, eclipsing its second-highest donation, an $11,000 donation to Special Olympics Mississippi.

Likewise, Favre 4 Hope gave $26,175 to the USM Athletic Foundation in 2020, while limiting other donations to $10,000 or less.

The donations actually started before Favre’s daughter, Breleigh, enrolled at USM in 2017 (Breleigh eventually transferred to Louisiana State, where she continued to play volleyball).

From 2011 to 2017, Favre 4 Hope gave USM Athletics a total of $47,900, and that doesn’t include 2016, a period from which tax records aren’t available, according to ESPN.

And Southern Miss wasn’t the only beneficiary.

In 2015, when Favre’s daughter was a volleyball player at Oak Grove High School in Mississippi, Favre 4 Hope donated $60,000 to the school’s booster club, tax records show. Previously, Favre 4 Hope donated $10,000 to boosters.

Favre pictured alongside his daughter, Breleigh, in 2017 before she attended USM

Favre pictured alongside his daughter, Breleigh, in 2017 before she attended USM

Favre is accused of trying to funnel $5 million into the new complex built at his alma mater, Southern Miss, where his daughter played volleyball in 2018. The scheme allegedly involved former Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant and Nancy New, who ran a nonprofit in the state and has since pleaded guilty to fraud charges.  Text messages allegedly showing Favre, New and Bryant working on the scheme were included in a file last week.  In one from August 2017, Favre texted New, asking:

Favre is accused of trying to funnel $5 million into the new complex built at his alma mater, Southern Miss, where his daughter played volleyball in 2018. The scheme allegedly involved former Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant and Nancy New, who ran a nonprofit in the state and has since pleaded guilty to fraud charges. Text messages allegedly showing Favre, New and Bryant working on the scheme were included in a file last week. In one from August 2017, Favre texted New, asking, “If you were to pay me, can the media find out where it’s from and how much anyway?”

“He’s been very generous to Southern Miss since he played ball there,” Favre’s former attorney, Bud Holmes, told ESPN. ‘These particular things [the donations in question] I don’t know, but I know he always gave back, which most athletes don’t do.

Late last month it was revealed, first by ESPN, that he tried to get extra money from the state welfare agency in 2019 – two years after he funneled millions in welfare money into the volleyball arena.

Then-Governor Republican Phil Bryant texted Favre in 2019, who wanted to build an indoor training facility for Southern Miss football. Bryant told him that federal money for children and low-income adults was “tightly controlled” and that “inappropriate use could result in a violation of federal law.”

The text messages between Bryant and Favre appear in court documents filed earlier this month by Bryant’s attorneys, who seek to show the governor was willing to help Favre raise private funds for the volleyball facility. as of 2017, but had been unaware for more than two years that welfare money was going to the project.

Favre’s request for money from the Mississippi Department of Human Services to fund the football facility came to nothing. Favre made the request on July 28, 2019, when he was unsuccessfully trying to recruit the son of another retired NFL player, Deion Sanders, from the University of Hattiesburg.

Former Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant texted Favre in 2019, who wanted to build an indoor training facility for Southern Miss football.  Bryant told him federal money for low-income children and adults was

Former Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant texted Favre in 2019, who wanted to build an indoor training facility for Southern Miss football. Bryant told him that federal money for children and low-income adults was “tightly controlled” and that “inappropriate use could result in a violation of federal law.”

Mississippi’s biggest public corruption case has ensnared several people, including a professional wrestler whose rehab was funded by welfare.

The state has filed a civil lawsuit against Favre and others to recover more than $20 million in poorly spent welfare funds intended to help those in need in one of the nation’s poorest states. Bryant and Favre do not face criminal charges, and Bryant is not among those named in the state’s civil lawsuit.

A former director of the Mississippi Department of Human Services, John Davis, pleaded guilty last week to federal and state felony charges in a conspiracy to waste welfare money. Davis was appointed by Bryant in February 2016 and fired by him in July 2019. Davis agreed to testify against others.

.

Add Comment