Six former employees of the Lincoln Project are seeking to be freed from their non-disclosure agreements so that they can speak out about sexual misconduct allegations against the anti-Trump group’s co-founder.
In a statement, the six anonymous individuals who worked for the Lincoln Project demand the organization to release them of legal agreements preventing them from making public what they knew about John Weaver, a high-profile “Never Trumper” Republican who was recently accused of sending unsolicited, sexually explicit messages to more than 20 men, including one who was a 14-year-old high school student when Weaver began messaging him.
Specifically, the ex-staffers said they want to openly speak about “harassment perpetuated by John Weaver that we have experienced or witnessed,” knowledge of “harassment of others by John Weaver,” and any other information “specific to the John Weaver situation that would aid the press, public and our donors in questions relevant to the public interest, and to the interests of the Lincoln Project’s many loyal fans and small donors.”
“Expecting victims and those close to victims to contact and engage the people and organization accused of protecting the very predator at issue is absurd, unreasonable and insensitive,” the Thursday statement reads.
The accusations against Weaver were first reported in January by Forensic News. The story was later picked up by other publications, including The New York Times. The NY Times report featured some of the messages allegedly sent by Weaver, who has a wife and two children, in which he appeared to be promising political connections and career and financial assistance in exchange for sexual favors.
In response, the Lincoln Project said in a statement that numerous media reports about its co-founder were “filled with inaccuracies and incorrect information,” but nonetheless agreed that “there is a central truth in all of them that must be reckoned with and that is John Weaver’s appalling conduct and the abuse he inflicted on people.”
Steve Schmidt, a Lincoln Project co-founder and campaign advisor to former President George W. Bush and later Arizona Senator John McCain, claimed that he wasn’t aware of Weaver’s conduct.
“No Lincoln Project employee, intern, or contractors ever made an allegation of inappropriate communication about John Weaver that would have triggered an investigation by HR or by an outside employment counsel,” Schmidt said in a Wednesday statement. “In other words, no human being ever made an allegation about any inappropriate sexualized communications about John Weaver ever.”