Tags: Lincoln Project | Investigation

Co-Founder Quitting Anti-Trump Lincoln Project Amid Scandal

Co-Founder Quitting Anti-Trump Lincoln Project Amid Scandal
Weaver (AP)

Friday, 12 February 2021 07:43 PM

Lincoln Project co-founder Steve Schmidt announced Friday he's quitting the rabidly anti-Trump organization Friday night as scandal has roiled the group.

"Presently, the Lincoln Project is made up of four middle-aged white men. That composition does not reflect our nation, nor our movement. I am resigning my seat on the Lincoln Project board to make room for the appointment of a female board member as the first step to reform and professionalize the Lincoln Project," Schmidt said in a statement, as reported by Fox News. 

Axios was first to report on Schmidt's exit.

It comes amid the exit of some senior staff from the embattled group since the Associated Press and New York magazine ran bombshell reports. Those reports indicated the project's top officials knew as far back as June that John Weaver, a co-founder of the influential group, was being accused of sexual harassment by no fewer than 10 people.

As Fox noted, two of those allegations involved Lincoln Project employees and were communicated to leadership. 

The Lincoln Project is among the best known organizations in the so-called Never Trump movement. Among its activities, it created ads and web postings challenging the former president and his supporters throughout the Trump administration.

In a statement released Thursday evening, the organization announced that its board had decided to retain “a best-in-class outside professional” to review Weaver’s tenure “to establish both accountability and best practices going forward for The Lincoln Project.”

The organization also encouraged anyone bound by a nondisclosure agreement to contact the Lincoln Project "for a release.”

The situation threatens the stature of not just the Lincoln Project but also the broader coalition of establishment-oriented Republican groups working to excise Trump from the party.

Lincoln Project co-founder Schmidt insisted Wednesday night that he and the rest of the group’s leadership were not aware of any internal allegations of wrongdoing involving Weaver.

“The Lincoln Project believes the members of our movement and the victims of John Weaver’s despicable and deceptive behavior are owed the facts, and you will have them,” the organization said in a written statement Thursday night. “John Weaver betrayed all of us and you deserve the facts presented independently through a transparent process.”

Weaver declined to comment for the AP's earlier story, but in a statement released late last month to Axios, he generally acknowledged misconduct and apologized.

“To the men I made uncomfortable through my messages that I viewed as consensual mutual conversations at the time: I am truly sorry,” he wrote. “They were inappropriate and it was because of my failings that this discomfort was brought on you.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Politics
Lincoln Project co-founder Steve Schmidt announced Friday he's quitting the rabidly anti-Trump organization Friday night as scandal has roiled the group. "Presently, the Lincoln Project is made up of four middle-aged white men. That composition does not reflect our nation,...
Lincoln Project, Investigation
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2021-43-12
Friday, 12 February 2021 07:43 PM
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