In laughable fashion, after a review of the John Weaver sex scandal, The Lincoln Project declares itself innocent.
You may have noticed over the past 6 months that the infamous anti-Trump political group The Lincoln Project has not been as big of a fixture in the media. In January, news broke that co-founder and senior partner John Weaver had been engaged in an ongoing effort of grooming underage males for sexual relationships. Nearly two dozen individuals have come forward to show that, over the years, Weaver had been in contact with them and used the lure of jobs and other promised perks in exchange for sexual favors.
Since that time, the money-Hoovering organization has endured other scandals, seen the flight of many prominent members, and watched as its sphere of influence and stream of donations shriveled.
Now the group comes forward to claim that it has been cleared of culpability on the matter of Weaver’s predations. In a statement released by two members, The Lincoln Project declares that, after a four-month investigation, there has been no evidence found that major players in the organization were aware of Weaver’s behavior before it hit the news. Here is the statement declaring an absence of culpability.
The Lincoln Project has shared the following statement with its supporters. pic.twitter.com/njhIxUSNjA
— The Lincoln Project (@ProjectLincoln) June 22, 2021
There are a number of things blatantly wrong with this impotent attempt at exoneration.
First item to note, this announcement is being made by the guilty party, not the investigative team. It is in typical TLP shady form that they come forward to state, “Hey, look at that — we’re innocent!”
Next, one of the biggest problems is this investigation was undertaken in February and is claimed to have been conducted by an “independent” law firm, named Paul Hastings LLP. The first sign of trouble here is that no fewer than five members of the firm, including one of its managing partners, were donors to The Lincoln Project. There is no way this could be considered a serious probe into the matter with that kind of connectivity in place.
The comments made in this statement expose other problems. The claim made that no one at TLP had been made aware of Weaver’s actions before the news came out this January is nothing more than a straight-up lie. During the time this scandal broke, just prior to Joe Biden’s inauguration, a prominent leader and co-founder of the group, MSNBC fixture Steve Schmidt, admitted to the New York Times having knowledge of Weaver’s activities approximately 6 months earlier.
This new statement declares no one at the super-PAC had been aware of Weaver’s predatory behavior, “at any time prior to the publication of those news reports.” Yet as he said to the New York Times, Schmidt had been apprised of the issue well before the scandal broke.
Steve Schmidt, a co-founder of the group, said its leaders had learned last summer from social media posts that Mr. Weaver, who has a wife and two children, might be involved in relationships with men, but emphasized, “There was no awareness or insinuations of any type of inappropriate behavior when we became aware of the chatter at the time.”
Now, how exactly was a four-month investigation conducted, and they were unable to come up with this quote from one of the nation’s largest news outlets? He is stating that prior to learning about Weaver’s behavior there had been no indications, but they did in fact learn of it months before those news reports. This detail alone invalidates this entire investigation.
Another failed deflection by the investigative team is in the statement that Weaver’s actions had taken place, “previous to his tenure at The Lincoln Project.” This too is another falsehood, and another sign that the investigators were able to overlook verifiable evidence. In January, Forensic News published its report on the Weaver scandal, and in it, they had screenshots of some of the communications between Weaver and some of his targets.
In one series of conversations, it is shown to have taken place in January of 2020. The New York Times detailed that another of the young men had a lengthy discussion with Weaver months later in March, and a third mentioned he was approached as well in 2020. These examples all took place after the formation of TLP, in December of 2019. Two other individuals stated that Weaver had approached them with the lure of work — at The Lincoln Project.
As comically inept as this desperate boast of innocence has been, they closed it out with an unintentionally revealing admission. The last paragraph is a dose of boilerplate promise of improvement in many areas (a curious statement after declaring there were no problems to be found), and in so doing, one area was to place a new focus on “professionalizing management.”
This will be a refreshing change, as most anyone who has watched TLP over the years will agree, their management has been anything but professional.