Lincoln Project co-founder Steve Schmidt resigned from its board on Friday night in a stunning three-page statement that covered everything from how co-founder John Weaver’s history of sexual predation dredged up memories of his victimization at the hands of a camp medic and Theodore Cardinal McCarrick in the Catholic Church to his battles with depression and his illegal sharing of private conversations between journalist Amanda Becker and Jennifer Horn, another Lincoln Project co-founder, this week.
Read Schmidt’s statement here.
Horn had resigned in the wake of the allegations against Weaver and released a statement this week saying that she had knowledge that several other Lincoln Project leaders had known of Weaver’s predation and ignored it.
The NYT reports: “The backlash against the Lincoln Project began with the revelation last month that Mr. Weaver had repeatedly harassed young men and at least one minor. It intensified on Thursday with published reports that leaders had known about the harassment last year and failed to act, the demand by former workers to be released from their N.D.A.s, and the unauthorized posting of Ms. Horn’s Twitter messages.”
Schmidt appeared on Real Time with Bill Maher on Saturday night and spoke about The Lincoln Project. Maher completely avoided the John Weaver scandal and did not bring up Schmidt’s resignation, although Schmidt had previewed his appearance on the show in his letter.
He also blasted the Republican Party.
But Charles Blow had a few thoughts to add:
The Daily Beast reports: “Weaver worked on John McCain’s failed bids for the presidency in both 2000 and 2008 before running John Kasich’s campaign against Donald Trump in 2016. As a senior adviser to McCain in 2008, Schmidt is credited with pushing the candidate to select Sarah Palin as his running mate.”
View co-host Meghan McCain laid into Weaver and Schmidt in a series of tweets on Friday night.
Tweeted McCain: “I’ve been very hesitant to comment but since my deceased father keeps getting invoked I will say this: John Weaver and Steve Schmidt were so despised by my Dad he made it a point to ban them from his funeral. Since 2008, no McCain would have spit on them if they were on fire. My heart goes out to the victims of John Weaver, it’s abhorrent and evil – everyone who knew that this was going on deserves to be held accountable. I hope that anyone who covered up for this never works in politics ever again. What disgusts me so much is that anyone who would engage in such awful and potentially illegal behavior would use their media associations with my father to gain opportunities. My dad was betrayed by you, hated you for it, and we all know it.”
The NYT adds: “Mr. Schmidt will remain with the organization in an executive capacity after he takes a temporary leave. He stepped down from the board to quell a growing furor around the Lincoln Project, but had only joined the board after the November election. … Mr. Schmidt reiterated his claim that he had not known of Mr. Weaver’s behavior until last month. However, a former Lincoln Project employee told The New York Times that Mr. Schmidt had known by October 2020 at the latest. The former employee described being in the room when Mr. Schmidt spoke about it.”