The FBI is investigating allegations that Lincoln Project co-founder John Weaver sexually harassed minors.
On Thursday, the Associated Press reported that Lincoln Project leaders were informed of at least 10 allegations of harassment against Weaver.
Two former interns — Alex Johnson, a University of Texas student, and Charlie Stephens, who attends Louisiana State University — came forward with unsolicited, lewd text messages they received last year from Weaver. At least 20 males now claim they received sexually suggestive messages and images from the 61-year-old.
Despite the early warnings, the best-known “Never Trump” organization took no action against Weaver. As an AP writer noted, “For the collection of GOP consultants and former officials, being anti-Trump was becoming very good for business.”
Reports show project leaders were repeatedly told about sexual harassment accusations against Weaver but ignored them. Co-founder Steve Schmidt said he and the group’s leadership were not aware of any wrongdoing. He announced plans to launch an external probe into Weaver’s tenure, which ended last week.
AP provided sources that claim the allegations were discussed on phone calls with leaders of the group last summer.
“No Lincoln Project employee, intern, or contractors ever made an allegation of inappropriate communication about John Weaver that would have triggered an investigation by HR or by an outside employment counsel,” Schmidt said. “In other words, no human being ever made an allegation about any inappropriate sexualized communications about John Weaver ever.”
Friday evening, on President Abraham Lincoln’s birthday no less, it was reported that Schmidt resigned from the organization.
Led by several former Republican consultants, the Lincoln Project’s effort to oust President Donald Trump began in November 2019.
The group raised nearly $100 million — a large portion from wealthy Democrat donors — yet less than one-third directly paid for advertisements during the presidential campaign. That leaves tens of millions of dollars that went toward “exorbitant consulting fees collected by members of the group,” per the AP.
The cadre also constantly leveled brutal smears against conservatives who they believed were complicit in the end of democracy, as the Lincoln Project asserted.
On Friday’s Commentary Magazine podcast, columnist Noah Rothman examined the inconsistency and duplicity.
“The true colors were available to anybody remotely interested,” he said. “They raised tens of millions from Democratic grassroots donors that went into the pockets of these people. They were all over media telling Democratic voters exactly what they wanted to hear. Members of the Lincoln Project cashed checks from Steve Bannon. Members of the Lincoln Project have been unceremoniously defenestrated from a Republican campaign for incompetence. For not being myopically fixated on Donald Trump’s evil works, they accused me of abetting right-wing terrorists. The rhetoric always had to go the next level, to an irresponsible state, because that’s what lined Schmidt’s pockets and made him a star on MSNBC. Those of us who spoke out about it didn’t get the big bucks, but maintained our principles.”