The Lincoln Project staffers will be released from the “confidentiality provisions in their employment agreements”, the group tweeted on Monday, signalling that its employees will now be free to discuss their experience with the anti-Trump organisation following sexual harassment accusations against co-founder John Weaver.
Over 20 young men, including Lincoln’s own employees, came forward last month to claim that they had received sexually charged messages from Weaver in the past, reportedly with offers to help advance their careers.
According to sources cited by the Associated Press, the group leaders were made aware of the accusations as early as in June 2020, when the alleged victims informed them about the situation in writing and through phone calls, but failed to act against the group’s co-founder. Lincoln’s leadership maintained that a flurry of accusations came as a shock to them.
Read The Lincoln Project's latest statement: pic.twitter.com/14TwPPTFdV— The Lincoln Project (@ProjectLincoln) February 16, 2021
The ‘Never Trump’ group has now resorted to legal advice, as it argued in a statement that the team remains “committed to creating a positive, diverse, and inclusive workplace environment”.
“The Lincoln Project has retained the law firm of Paul Hastings to investigate allegations of inappropriate behaviour by John Weaver as part of a comprehensive review of our operation and culture,” the campaign said in a public statement. “The review process is currently underway.”
Weaver admitted last month that some messages he had sent to young men were “inappropriate” and apologised for his actions. He is no longer a part of Lincoln Project, the Post says, as the group’s co-founders Jennifer Horn and Steve Schmidt, GOP veteran strategist, have also resigned from the organisation following the sex scandal, financial mismanagement claims, and a legal issue over Schmidt’s publication of Horn’s private conversation with a journalist.
Where Did the Money Go
In addition to harassment claims, the Associated Press reported, citing ad tracking analysis, that out of $90 million the Lincoln Project has raised in the past, only a third of the sum – around $27 million – had gone to 2020 election campaign advertisement, while more than $50 million had been allocated to consulting firms linked to the group’s leaders.
The group, however, maintained in a statement that they spent “$81 million last cycle” on over 300 adverts, national town halls, podcasts and other “voter outreach” activities.
“Eighty percent of our funds went to voter content production,” the statement maintains.
The Lincoln Project, which is mainly run by Republican and ex-GOP staffers, says that it is now “working with outside counsel and professional consultants to strengthen our corporate governance, finance and operational structure” in its mission to advance democracy.
The group’s fundraising page has remained inactive since Saturday.