Anti-Trump group Lincoln Project co-founder quits as John Weaver is probed by FBI for sending interns ‘graphic messages'
A CO-FOUNDER of the anti-Trump organization Lincoln Project resigned on Friday night as the FBI probed another founder over graphic messages he sent to interns.
In a statement shared on Twitter, Steve Schmidt said he wished John Weaver, who is under investigation, was not a co-founder.
Schmidt also explained that he is stepping down because “presently, the Lincoln Project board is made up of four middle-aged white men.”
“That composition does not reflect our nation, nor our movement,” Schmidt stated.
“I am resigning my seat on the Lincoln Project board to make room for the appointment of a female board member as the first step to reform and professionalize the Lincoln Project.”
The Lincoln Project has been marred with controversy since the Associated Press and New York magazine reported that leaders within the organization knew about at least 10 sexual harassment allegations against Weaver in June 2020.
A couple of the allegations that involved Lincoln Project workers were raised to leaders after Schmidt said he did not know about Weaver’s actions.
Weaver is accused of sending unsolicited, sexually suggestive messages to more than a dozen young men.
The men claim that Weaver would pressure them for sexual favors in exchange for advancing their political careers or giving them career and job advice.
One of the 21 men accusing Weaver said he was 14 years old when he began receiving messages from the man.
Weaver allegedly wrote to one young man, “Spoil you when we see each other.”
In his statement on Friday, Schmidt began by recounting his days as a Boy Scout when he was allegedly molested by a camp medic and said he suffered with trauma and depression.
Schmidt the addressed Weaver and reiterated that he did not know about his colleague’s misconduct until last month.
"My purpose in writing this isn't to express what and when I knew about John Weaver, but how I feel about him, what he did and how many people he hurt. This is my truth,” Schmidt wrote.
"John Weaver has put me back into that faraway cabin with Ray, my Boy Scout leader. I am incandescently angry about it.”
He continued: “I am angry because I know the damage that he caused to me, and I know the journey that lies ahead of every young man that trusted, feared and was abused by John Weaver."
Schmidt said he is “enormously proud of the Lincoln Project” and apologized to founder Jennifer Horn, whom he said was “an important and callable member of our team” and resigned last week over the controversy.
The Lincoln Project is a political action committee that aimed to prevent Donald Trump from being reelected in 2020.
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