As you’ve probably read by now, the proverbial sh*t has hit the fan at the Lincoln Project.
The LP, the anti-Trump super PAC, has excelled over the past year-and-a-half at making the case against the former president by way of a continuous barrage of advertising and at fundraising — an estimated $90 million worth.
But over the weekend, it shut down its donation page after reports of sex harassment at the organization. There have also been some reports alleging misappropriation of funds.
A USA Todayreport today estimates that more than half of the funds raised by the group went to firms controlled by LP founders. Not that there is necessarily anything wrong with that, but it’s unclear, given the fairly lax disclosure rules governing super PACs.
The alleged harasser within the LP is one of its co-founders and longtime Republican political consultant John Weaver, who reportedly sent “overt sexual solicitations” as The New York Times put it, to at least 10 men. He has issued an apology (while denying any legal wrongdoing) and indicated he would not be returning to the LP, from which he took a medical leave last summer.
Other reports describe a sexist and toxic culture at the organization.
The LP has condemned Weaver as someone who “led a secret life that was built on a foundation of deception at every level. He is a predator, a liar, and an abuser. We extend our deepest sympathies to those who were targeted by his deplorable and predatory behavior. We are disgusted and outraged that someone in a position of power and trust would use it for these means.”
Last Thursday, the group said it had hired an outside professional to conduct an investigation to “review Mr. Weaver’s tenure with the organization and to establish both accountability and best practices going forward for the Lincoln Project.” Until that review is completed, the group said would have no further comment on Weaver.
And while some reports suggested LP can’t survive the damage done by the scandal, the group insisted it isn’t going anywhere.
“We will not back down,” it said in its Thursday statement. “Our expertise is in running political campaigns, we recognize that we need outside experts to help us understand, resolve and rectify this matter.”