Sex, Lies and The Lincoln Project

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Shocking.  Not.  If ever there were a racket that was obvious from the get-go it was the Never Trumper “Lincoln Project.”

It was formed by people who were the embodiment of why Donald Trump had such disdain for the GOP Establishment. The latter is crawling with GOP “consultants” who have turned their much-exaggerated political skills into little short of professional grifting. The pitch goes like this:

“Hey, Mr./Ms. Candidate: I can make you a congressman/senator/governor/president …for a price.”

What amazes, in looking at their contributors, is the number of highly successful people – a number of the left-wing Democrats – who took the bait. So obsessed with Trump Derangement Syndrome were they that they were either willfully naive about what was going on – or they simply looked the other way.

Someone who is not surprised in the least at the Lincoln Project’s collapse amidst revelations of sexual misconduct with young boys, not to mention the use of donations to enrich the co-founders, is the late Senator John McCain’s daughter Meghan. She is, of course, now famously a co-host of ABC’s  The View.

Two of the Lincoln Project founders – Steve Schmidt and John Weaver – were once aides to Senator McCain. Schmidt was McCain’s 2008 campaign manager, Weaver a longtime adviser in various McCain campaigns. As the revelations of the Lincoln Project’s problems surfaced, Meghan McCain had this to say:

“I’ve been very hesitant to comment but since my deceased father keeps getting invoked I will say this: John Weaver and Steve Schmidt were so despised by my Dad he made it a point to ban them from his funeral. Since 2008, no McCain would have spit on them if they were on fire.

My heart goes out to the victims of John Weaver, it’s abhorrent and evil – everyone who knew that this was going on deserves to be held accountable. I hope that anyone who covered up for this never works in politics ever again.”

The good news? The Lincoln Project crew will never work in Republican politics again. And rightly so.

Fox News reported:

“The PAC saw enormous financial success in its efforts to remove Trump from office, raising $90 million since its creation in 2019. Only $27 million of that amount, however, went toward advertising costs, and the organization has spent more than $50 million on consulting firms controlled by the group’s leaders.”

Catch that sentence? This one: “Only $27 million of that amount, ($90 million) however, went toward advertising costs, and the organization has spent more than $50 million on consulting firms controlled by the group’s leaders.”

Ahhhh the grift at work.

Then there was the sex. Here’s the headline from the Associated Press:

How a leading anti-Trump group ignored a crisis in its ranks

“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, according to multiple people with direct knowledge of the situation.

…Despite the initial warning in June, the group took no action against Weaver and pressed forward with its high-profile work. For the collection of GOP consultants and former officials, being anti-Trump was becoming very good for business. Of the $90 million Lincoln Project has raised, more than $50 million has gone to firms controlled by the group’s leaders.”

In other words? In essence, the Lincoln Project attitude was:

“Hey, who cares about an old guy preying on underage boys. We’re making big money here by hating Donald Trump!”

And there was more. This was the headline from a site called The 19th, where reporter Amanda Becker was doing serious investigative journalism.

Inside the Lincoln Project’s ‘toxic’ workplace
Interviews with nearly two dozen people with knowledge of the group’s workings reveal a culture of infighting, sexist language and disparate treatment.

The story said, in part, this:

“The organization is facing a rapidly escalating controversy over allegations that another of its co-founders, John Weaver, sexually harassed more than a dozen young men, including some working for the project, and over what other members of senior management knew about the claims and when they knew it.

The accusations have roiled the organization, and as its current and former employees and contractors began coming forward to discuss them, they described a workplace where women in key positions were sidelined and where sexist and homophobic language was used by those in leadership posts.”

Then there was this story, also from The 19th:

Some Lincoln Project founders knew about sexual harassment allegations as early as March

The story said in part:

“Some of the leaders of the embattled Lincoln Project knew about sexual harassment allegations against co-founder John Weaver as early as March, multiple sources, including the group’s former executive director, told The 19th late Monday.”

Clearly, The Lincoln Project is in the middle of a well-deserved implosion.

But there should be a lesson here. Those who are willing to sell out political principle for cash have not only no political principle – but no principles, period.

The good news? The Lincoln Project crew will never work in Republican politics again. And rightly so.