AP: “Despite the early warning, the group took no action against Weaver and pressed forward with its high-profile work”
As we noted last month, Ryan Girdusky broke the story of Lincoln Project co-founder John Weaver’s alleged predatory behavior toward young men, and when the New York Times followed up with its own reporting of the allegations, the Lincoln Project adamantly denied any knowledge of the reported incidents.
The AP is now reporting that in “June 2020, members of the organization’s leadership were informed in writing and in subsequent phone calls of at least 10 specific allegations of harassment against co-founder John Weaver.”
In June 2020, members of Lincoln Project leadership were informed in writing and in subsequent phone calls of at least 10 specific allegations of harassment against co-founder John Weaver, including two involving Lincoln Project employees. https://t.co/CdiVPK5mp3
— Julie Pace (@jpaceDC) February 11, 2021
Girdusky had called the denials into question, and it appears from the AP report that he was correct.
This statement by the @ProjectLincoln is an absolute lie.
Members did know. Young men approached them about the accusations. Members knew I was writing the story and warned John Weaver pic.twitter.com/BZms5iLgpL
— Ryan James Girdusky (@RyanGirdusky) January 31, 2021
Good @AP exposé proving what what was already obvious:
1) @ProjectLincoln lied when it denied knowing of complaints about John Weaver’s sexual misconduct;
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) February 11, 2021
In June 2020, members of the organization’s leadership were informed in writing and in subsequent phone calls of at least 10 specific allegations of harassment against co-founder John Weaver, including two involving Lincoln Project employees, according to multiple people with direct knowledge of the situation. The email and phone calls raise questions about the Lincoln Project’s statement last month that it was “shocked” when accusations surfaced publicly this year. It’s also the first known suggestion that Weaver targeted a Lincoln Project staffer.
Despite the early warning, the group took no action against Weaver and pressed forward with its high-profile work. For the collection of GOP consultants and former officials, being anti-Trump was becoming very good for business. Of the $90 million Lincoln Project has raised, more than $50 million has gone to firms controlled by the group’s leaders.
There is no evidence that the Lincoln Project buried the allegations against Weaver for business reasons. But taken together, the harassment allegations and new revelations about spending practices raise significant questions about the management of one of the highest-profile antagonists of Trump. The revelations threaten the stature of not just the Lincoln Project but the broader coalition of establishment-oriented Republican groups working to excise Trump from the party.
. . . . Last June, someone working for the Lincoln Project payroll sent an email to Steslow, one of the organization’s co-founders, detailing numerous cases of sexual harassment involving Weaver that spanned several years. While the AP has not seen the email, its contents were confirmed by four people who had directly seen it.
. . . . Schmidt did not confirm the existence of the email, saying only that if one existed, it was not shared with anyone on the organization’s board or leadership.
But multiple people familiar with the situation say that Steslow immediately raised the email with Galen, who helped manage day-to-day operations at the time, and the Lincoln Project’s corporate counsel Matthew Sanderson. Steslow also encouraged his colleagues to remove Weaver from the organization.
Those allegations and others were discussed on subsequent phone calls with organization leaders in June and August, and employees were assured that the alleged incidents would be investigated. Weaver went out on medical leave in August, but as the presidential campaign moved into the summer and fall, there was no formal resolution.
No evidence they buried the allegations for “business reasons”? It’s a fundraising and PR group that would be harmed by the story. That’s their business reason. https://t.co/tvIaFcgeCh pic.twitter.com/EU3AzHNhIS
— David Reaboi (@davereaboi) February 11, 2021
So far it doesn’t look like the Lincoln Project has rushed out another statement, but two of its founding members took to Twitter to share their thoughts on the AP story.
Kellyanne Conway’s Never Trump husband and a Lincoln Project co-founder George Conway tweeted the following:
Another Lincoln Project co-founder Rick Wilson chose not to deal with the AP revelations at all; instead, he bizarrely dismisses the AP as “Trump world” as he “Look! Squirrels” Orange Man Bad.
That notorious right wing MAGA rag website known as **squints** The Associated Press. pic.twitter.com/omZWKt5yav
— Stephen L. Miller (@redsteeze) February 11, 2021
In addition to the revelation of allegations suggesting the Lincoln Project was aware of Weaver’s reported sexual predation at least as early as June of last year, the AP also provides some interesting information about what a grift the whole “project” is.
Read @AP on the Lincoln Project: 'Being anti-Trump was becoming very good for business. Of the $90 million Lincoln Project has raised, more than $50 million has gone to firms controlled by the group’s leaders.' https://t.co/5nscW9FmQF
— Byron York (@ByronYork) February 11, 2021
AP: “The unexpected success of the Lincoln Project has extended a lifeline to some founders who have spent much of the past decade under financial distress.” https://t.co/HYGRJ8ueUr
— Josh Kraushaar (@HotlineJosh) February 11, 2021
When you read the AP piece on Lincoln Project, one thing jumps out (in addition to Weaver having owned a children's boutique).
Weaver's debt, tax lien, and terrible credit histories would have prevented him from getting an executive level job pretty much anywhere.
— John Cardillo (@johncardillo) February 11, 2021
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