Leaders of the Lincoln Project, a political action committee formed to defeat Donald Trump in the 2020 election, knew about allegations of sexual harassment against co-founder John Weaver as early as this summer, according to an Associated Press report. The AP says a Lincoln Project employee emailed co-founder Ron Steslow in June about numerous allegations over the years, and that the issue was discussed in several phone calls with leadership. It also says Steslow discussed the email with corporate counsel Matthew Sanderson and advocated for Weaver to be removed from the organization.
Weaver went on medical leave in August and formally stepped down from the group last month, after a New York Times story accused him of inappropriately messaging men and boys as young as 14. The Lincoln Project condemned his behavior as “deplorable and predatory” in a statement at the time, and co-founder Steve Schmidt maintains he and the rest of the top leadership were unaware of any allegations against Weaver from inside the company. The group released a statement late Thursday saying leaders had contracted an investigator to conduct an internal review of Weaver’s time there. “The Lincoln Project Board decided this afternoon to retain a best-in-class outside professional to review Mr. Weaver’s tenure with the organization and to establish both accountability and best practices,” the statement read. (Lincoln Project co-founder Rick Wilson is a Daily Beast columnist and co-hosts the podcast The New Abnormal.)