Another leader of the scandal-ridden Lincoln Project is stepping down.
Steve Schmidt, one of the co-founders of the anti-Trump Lincoln Project, has resigned from the super PAC’s board, Axios reported.
Follow the money
The Lincoln Project has been rocked by two massive scandals in recent months.
First, according to a report from the Associated Press, over $50 million of the nearly $100 million that the group raised went to consulting firms tied to the group’s leaders. Only about $27 million went to political advertisements — the group’s ostensible purpose.
In other words, it appears that Lincoln Project’s leaders may have been enriching themselves from the funds the group raised. The AP reported: “In many cases, it’s difficult to tell how much members of the group were paid” because the Lincoln Project employed a strategy that masked how much they earned.
The AP asked the group to provide some clarity about its expenses; however, Schmidt refused.
“The Lincoln Project will be delighted to open its books for audit immediately after the Trump campaign and all affiliated super PACs do so,” he said.
Protecting a predator
In January, the American Conservative’s Ryan Girdusky exposed Lincoln Project co-founder and long-time Republican strategist, John Weaver.
Weaver was found to have a sordid history of attempting to solicit sex from dozens of young men in exchange for career advancement, including at least one who was only 14 at the start of Weaver contacting him.
According to The New York Times, six former Lincoln Project employees are asking to be released from their nondisclosure agreements in order to talk about the situation involving Weaver. They claim that the Lincoln Project “protected” a “predator.”
Contrary to statements made by leaders of the group who have attempted to distance themselves from Weaver and his actions, the AP reported that these members were aware of Weaver’s behavior. “In June 2020, members of the organization’s leadership were informed in writing and in subsequent phone calls of at least 10 specific allegations of harassment against co-founder John Weaver, including two involving Lincoln Project employees,” the outlet reported.
As a result of these scandals, a number of the group’s members have resigned, including Schmidt and Lincoln Project spokesperson Kurt Bardella. The group may soon be the target of a federal investigation, as well. Two sources say they were contacted by the FBI about Weaver, according to journalist Yashar Ali.