Lincoln Project Pays Six-Figure Legal Settlement to Co-Founder Who Quit Over Sex Pest John Weaver

Financial disclosures show 'legal payout' to Jennifer Horn

February 2, 2022

The Lincoln Project quietly reached a six-figure legal settlement with an official who last year accused the super PAC of ignoring allegations of sexual misconduct against one of its founders, John Weaver.

Jennifer Horn received $375,000 from the Lincoln Project last year, according to campaign disclosures released this week. The Lincoln Project paid Horn, a cofounder of the group, an initial installment of $250,000 on July 15 and monthly installments of $25,000 thereafter.

Horn, the former chair of the New Hampshire GOP, resigned from the Lincoln Project in February amid allegations that Weaver made unwanted sexual advances toward more than 20 young men. The Lincoln Project fired back at Horn after her resignation, claiming she quit over a contract dispute. The group said Horn asked for a $250,000 signing bonus and a $40,000 monthly consulting fee. Other Lincoln Project founders at the time were raking in millions of dollars a year through their consulting firms. One founder, Steve Schmidt, said he saw the Lincoln Project as a path to "generational wealth."

Horn alleged other Lincoln Project founders knew of allegations against Weaver before they were made public. She claimed she was "demeaned" and "lied to" after she confronted another Lincoln Project executive about the inconsistency. The Lincoln Project responded on Twitter by publishing Horn’s exchanges with a journalist writing about the Weaver allegations. The group deleted the posts, and Schmidt stepped down from the board of directors. He issued an apology to Horn after she reportedly threatened to take legal action.

The terms of Horn’s legal settlement are not clear. The payments are listed as "legal payout[s]" in Federal Election Commission records. Horn has said relatively little about the Lincoln Project since parting ways with the organization. She took a shot at the group in October for hiring a group of operatives to pose as white nationalists at a rally for Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R., Va.).

The Lincoln Project made severance payments of $65,000 to its former press secretary, Nathaniel Nesbitt, according to campaign finance records. The group paid another $130,310 to Paul Hastings, the law firm hired to investigate Lincoln Project’s handling of the Weaver allegations. Lincoln Project released the results of the Paul Hastings inquiry in June that purported to clear the group of wrongdoing.

Horn and the Lincoln Project did not respond to requests for comment.