Some of the leaders of the Lincoln Project knew of sexual-misconduct allegations against a co-founder as early as last March, contradicting statements from top officials that they were not aware of the claims until summer or winter, the news website The 19th reported Tuesday. The site reports Sarah Lenti, a former executive director with the political group formed to defeat President Trump, said she knew of allegations about John Weaver in May 2020 and confirmed that some of the co-founders were aware two months earlier; The 19th reports that “multiple sources” said co-founders Reed Galen and Steve Schmidt were among them.
Under mounting pressure, the Lincoln Project announced Monday that it released “staff and former staff” from confidentiality clauses that have prevented some from discussing sexual-misconduct allegations against Weaver and what other members of the group knew about them. But five former employees and associates, writing anonymously, replied that it was unclear if the group’s new statement would also apply to “dozens of contractors, subcontractors, informal advisors, and other associates” and noted that it “seemed intentionally narrowed to only include talking about a ‘workplace environment.’” The Lincoln Project also said it has hired the law firm of Paul Hastings to investigate the claims against Weaver—who has been accused by 20 men, including one who was a minor at the time, of sending unsolicited messages to them, offering at times to trade his professional connections for sex. (Lincoln Project co-founder Rick Wilson is a Daily Beast columnist and podcast co-host.)