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Lincoln Project Knew of Abuse Accusations Against Co-Founder John Weaver

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Following the harassment scandal that engulfed the anti-Trump Republican group’s co-founder John Weaver, The 19th News revealed “that some of the leaders of the embattled Lincoln Project knew about sexual harassment allegations against co-founder John Weaver as early as March, several sources, including the group’s former executive director, said late Monday.”

Prior to this, The New York Times reported that “Weaver, has for years sent unsolicited, sexually provocative messages online to young men, often suggesting that he could help them get jobs in politics, according to interviews with 21 men who received them.”

But who leaked the exclusive was The American Conservative writer Ryan Girdusky in his article “The Lincoln Project’s Predator.”

“Twenty days before The Times piece, Girdusky revealed that one of his followers was in communication with several young men solicited by Weaver for a job and that, after the job offer, Weaver propositioned them for sex as part of the transaction,” says an earlier article in El American.

The Lincoln Project is going through its worst hours since its founding. A couple of days ago, the conservative and American right-wing reference, Tucker Carlson, took aim at the group claiming that it was finished.

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Playing a game of commemoration, Tucker said that “Lincoln’s birthday present had arrived: the end of the Lincoln Project. We can all celebrate that.”

“For decades,” Carlson explained, “political consultants whispered rumors that John Weaver had tried to molest little boys. Karl Rove to his credit once said that out loud. He was quickly attacked for saying it by The Atlantic Magazine. The Atlantic also protected John Weaver. But it turned out to be apparently accurate. Weaver’s colleagues at The Lincoln Project knew, but hid the truth from the public and law enforcement.”

More details about the Lincoln Project case

“Lincoln Project announced Monday night that it had hired law firm Paul Hastings to conduct a “comprehensive review of our operations and culture” and released current and former workers from non-disclosure agreements to speak out about their “work environment,”” the exclusive says.

“We are committed to creating a positive, diverse and inclusive work environment at Lincoln Project, and inappropriate behavior by anyone associated with the organization will not be tolerated under any circumstances. We have already taken decisive steps to address internal concerns,” co-founder Reed Galen told The 19th in a statement early Tuesday.

The Lincoln Project, a prominent anti-Trump group, was launched in late 2019 by a group of high-profile Republicans on a mission to defeat the former president.

“It went on to raise nearly $90 million for the effort, more than half of which flowed to firms controlled by its various founders,” says The 19th.

“The group’s decision to hire Paul Hastings, and to release its current and former employees, contractors and vendors on Monday from their service agreements,” the outlet reported, “came as fundraising problems mounted, potentially jeopardizing the remaining Lincoln Project leaders’ plans to expand into media and international political consulting.”

cofundador del proyecto lincoln, John Weaver
John Weaver, the co-founder of the Lincoln Project accussed of sexual harassment (captura de pantalla).
Who stopped working with the Lincoln Project?

The company Anedot, which processed the group’s donations, stopped working with The Lincoln Project causing fundraising links to go lifeless as of Friday, preventing The Lincoln Project from getting small-dollar donations.

Senate Majority PAC – basically, Democratic fundraising arm for Senate candidates – said on Friday that it would stop working with the group because of the sex scandal, after donating nearly $2 million in 2020 to help The Lincoln Project defeat Republican senators.

Then, the Jerusalem Post said early Tuesday that Israeli prime ministerial hopeful Gideon Sa’ar, who is running against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in next month’s election, would also cut ties.

“The Sa’ar campaign had last month hired Galen, Steve Schmidt, Rick Wilson and Stuart Stevens, the Lincoln Project’s top consultants, in an attempt to apply their anti-Trump playbook to Netanyahu. Their work in Israel was part of a broader expansion in international politics, with an entity related to this effort going on record just last week,” The 19th reviewed.

Separately, Rick Wilson’s relationship with The New Abnormal, a Daily Beast-produced podcast he co-hosts, has been put on hiatus as of Tuesday, producers told The 19th.

Employee revelations

Multiple people began coming forward late Monday to talk about the sexual allegations related to Weaver, and the timelines in which other senior staffers were aware of them. All this after the group confirmed that a non-disclosure statement applied to its current and former contractors, suppliers and employees. Much of the group’s work was performed by independent contractors and those who worked for private companies owned by its founders.

According to The 19th, the “statements contradict the chronology provided by Schmidt late last week. Schmidt had previously said he did not know about the allegations against Weaver until January. They also show that the co-founders knew about it months before June, as The 19th and other media outlets had previously reported.”

Some of the individuals provided new details Monday after they were released from their confidentiality agreements, the disclosure reads.

“Several said Sarah Lenti, a managing partner of the group who was previously its chief executive, knew about the allegations against Weaver as far back as May 2020. Lenti confirmed that some of the group’s co-founders had known about the allegations since March 2020. Schmidt and Galen were among those who knew, multiple sources said.”

So far, only three of Lincoln Project’s eight co-founders – Schmidt, Galen and Wilson – remain after months of infighting over the group’s management, finances and the allegations Weaver faces.

Emmanuel Alejandro Rondón is a journalist at El American specializing in the areas of American politics and media analysis // Emmanuel Alejandro Rondón es periodista de El American especializado en las áreas de política americana y análisis de medios de comunicación.

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