Lincoln Project said it was ‘shocked’ about Weaver’s conduct, but they reportedly knew of sexual misconduct allegations in June
Mary Margaret Olohan, DCNF
The Lincoln Project previously expressed shock over allegations against its co-founder John Weaver, but new reporting claims that Lincoln Project members knew of allegations against Weaver as early as June of last year.
Lincoln Project members were made aware of at least 10 allegations of harassment against Weaver in June 2020, the Associated Press reported. The group did not take action against Weaver as it continued its high-profile work combatting the re-election of former President Donald Trump.
Nevertheless, the Lincoln Project expressed shock in January over the allegations against Weaver.
“The totality of his deceptions are beyond anything any of us could have imagined and we are absolutely shocked and sickened by it,” the group said in a January statement.
The Lincoln Project did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.
Two of the allegations involved Lincoln Project employees, persons with direct knowledge of the situation told the AP. This is the first known suggestion that Weaver targeted staffers within the Lincoln Project, the publication reported.
Lincoln Project co-founder Steve Schmidt has also said that Lincoln Project leaders were not aware of allegations of Weaver’s wrongdoing.
“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, according to the AP. “In other words, no human being ever made an allegation about any inappropriate sexualized communications about John Weaver ever.”
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
Conservative writer Ryan Girdusky, a Lincoln Project critic, had alleged Jan. 9 that multiple young men had sent him screenshots of predatory messages from Weaver. He followed up this announcement with a story in The American Conservative describing Weaver’s alleged “predatory actions” and alleged grooming of young men.
Several weeks later, the New York Times reported Sunday that Weaver sent sexually provocative and unsolicited messages to young men for years. The publication talked to 21 young men who said that the messages suggested that Weaver could help them get jobs in politics.
One of these young men was 14 when Weaver messaged him, the publication reported.
None of the men accused Weaver of unlawful conduct and the messages only led to one consensual sexual encounter, according to the Times. However, the men described feeling preyed upon by Weaver, an older and influential man with the potential to help them gain the job they wanted.
Lincoln Project leaders have said they did not know about the allegations against Weaver until this month, though co-founder Steve Schmidt said that the organization’s leaders found from social media posts this summer that Weaver might have relationships with men, the Times reported.