The Lincoln Project Exonerates Itself

Law firm run by Lincoln Project donors concludes review of scandal-plagued super PAC

June 22, 2021

Paul Hastings, the law firm run by Lincoln Project donors that was hired to review the Lincoln Project's "operations and culture" following the John Weaver sex pest scandal, has concluded its investigation.

In a carefully worded memo to Lincoln Project donors—obtained by Mediaite—the scandal-plagued super PAC boasts that the law firm found "no evidence" Lincoln Project executives were aware that any of Weaver's victims were underage.

Additionally, the memo says the firm discovered "no communications nor conduct reported to The Lincoln Project or its leadership involving Mr. Weaver and any employee, contractor, or volunteer that would rise to the level of actionable sexual harassment."

The memo, written by Lincoln Project adviser Tara Setmayer and executive director Fred Wellman, co-chairs of the group's "Transition Advisory Board," purports to summarize the findings of the Paul Hastings review.

The memo does not mention whether the review found evidence that Lincoln Project executives were aware of Weaver's problematic behavior toward young men and sought to cover it up, or whether they knew of any inappropriate or potentially "actionable" conduct that did not involve a Lincoln Project "employee, contractor, or volunteer."

Extensive reporting suggests Lincoln Project executives were well aware of Weaver's inappropriate conduct, which involved grooming young men by offering career opportunities in exchange for sex and sending unsolicited photos of his genitals. Reports suggest at least some members of senior leadership knew of the accusations since early 2020, just weeks after the organization was founded.

The result of the Paul Hastings review is not surprising given the Lincoln Project's determination to continue as a fundraising juggernaut in the hope of securing "generational wealth" for its founding members. The super PAC, which raised nearly $100 million during the 2020 campaign, has already exonerated itself of any financial wrongdoing, although many questions remain about its opaque payment practices.

Several Lincoln Project founders, including Rick Wilson, have used the money they earned to pay off enormous tax debts. Even Weaver was able to settle a $300,000 tax bill days before the election. The remaining founders would certainly like to keep that gravy train rolling.

Others, however, are not so sure. "[The Lincoln Project] should shut down, absent full disclosure of its finances," cofounder George Conway tweeted in response to a New York Times story on the group's shady financial practices. "As this detailed story shows, there's simply too much money that hasn't been accounted for, and, I fear, never will be."

Published under: Lincoln Project