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Senior partners at firm the Lincoln Project hired to ‘review culture’ donated thousands to the organization

Mary Margaret Olohan, DCNF

  • The Lincoln Project announced Monday it had hired the law firm Paul Hastings for a “comprehensive review of” the organization’s “operations and culture.”
  • The announcement came amid reports that Lincoln Project leaders knew of sexual misconduct allegations against co-founder John Weaver as early as March 2020.
  • Several senior partners at Paul Hastings, the law firm hired to conduct a review of the Lincoln Project, have donated to the organization, federal records show.

Several senior partners at the law firm hired to conduct a review of the Lincoln Project have donated to the organization, federal records show.

The Lincoln Project announced Monday that it hired the law firm Paul Hastings for a “comprehensive review of” the organization’s “operations and culture” amid reports that Lincoln Project leaders knew of sexual misconduct allegations against co-founder John Weaver as early as March 2020.

Multiple senior partners at the law firm conducting this review have donated to the Lincoln Project, the Washington Free Beacon reported. Greg Nitzkowski has donated $3,000 to the Lincoln Project since July 2020, Federal Election Commission records show, and Elena Baca has donated almost $2,000 to the organization since 2019.

Nitzkowski is a managing partner for Paul Hastings and Baca is a partner and the global chair of the firm’s Employment Law Department. Neither Nitzkowski nor Baca immediately responded to requests for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.

“We can confirm that partners Felicia Davis and Jeffrey Webb of Paul Hastings have been retained by The Lincoln Project to conduct an investigation into allegations of inappropriate behavior within the organization,” the law firm told the DCNF in a statement.

“While individual lawyers have made donations to The Lincoln Project, Paul Hastings has not made any such donations,” the Paul Hastings statement continued. “None of the individual lawyers who donated will have any involvement with the investigation.”

Paul Hastings partners Sam Alavi, Joseph Profaizer, and Steven Marenberg have also donated to the Lincoln Project, the Beacon noted.

Though Lincoln Project co-founders have repeatedly insisted that the organization was unaware of allegations against Weaver until January 2021, multiple sources came forward Monday after they were released from their NDA’s and told 19th News that Lincoln Project managing partner Sarah Lenti knew about allegations as early as May 2020. The sources also told the publication that co-founders Steve Schmidt and Reed Galen were among the co-founders who knew.

Lenti told 19th News that Lincoln Project co-founders knew about the allegations even earlier — in March 2020.

Schmidt had previously said he was unaware of the allegations until January, according to 19th News. He resigned from the organization on Friday after the Lincoln Project published co-founder Jennifer Horn’s private messages with Becker.

The messages show Becker and Horn discussing, mostly off the record on Horn’s part, Horn’s reasons for leaving the Lincoln Project, her compensation and other Lincoln Project co-founders. Horn has suggested that she will take legal action over the messages.

The Associated Press also reported last week that Lincoln Project members were made aware of at least 10 allegations of harassment against Weaver in June 2020. The group did not take action against Weaver as it continued its high-profile work combating the re-election of former President Donald Trump and expressed shock in January over the allegations against its cofounder.

“The totality of his deceptions are beyond anything any of us could have imagined and we are absolutely shocked and sickened by it,” the Lincoln Project said in a January statement.

The allegations would not gain serious media attention until January, when conservative writer Ryan Girdusky alleged Jan. 9 that multiple young men had sent him screenshots of predatory messages from Weaver. Girdusky followed up on his initial allegations with a story in The American Conservative describing Weaver’s alleged “predatory actions” and alleged grooming of young men.

The Lincoln Project has not responded to requests for comment from the DCNF.

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Founded by Tucker Carlson, a 25-year veteran of print and broadcast media, and Neil Patel, former chief policy adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney, The Daily Caller News Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit providing original investigative reporting from a team of professional reporters that operates for the public benefit.

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