The anti-Trump political organization the Lincoln Project has settled a court case over accusations of sexual misconduct by one of its founders, John Weaver.
The court case was filed by former employee Jennifer Horn, who said the group refused to address allegations that Weaver had engaged in sexually inappropriate behavior toward young men and teens — including a 14-year-old boy — and even told her to keep quiet about the allegations.
Horn received $375,000, according to a report Wednesday by The Washington Free Beacon. The outlet said she was paid $250,000 in one installment and the rest in installments of $25,000 each.
Horn was the former chairwoman of the New Hampshire GOP and the lone female co-founder of the Lincoln Project, but she resigned a year ago amid allegations that Weaver had made unwanted sexual advances toward more than 20 young men and boys.
A Jan. 31, 2021, report in The New York Times said that Weaver had spent years sending “unsolicited and sexually provocative messages online to young men, often while suggesting he could help them get work in politics.”
Horn spoke out about the accusations, but representatives of the Lincoln Project claimed that she was doing so because of a dispute over her pay.
Still, she said other founders of the organization were fully aware of Weaver’s behavior but refused to do anything about it.
Horn also alleged that she was “demeaned” and “lied to” after she tried to raise the alarm inside the organization.
In an attempt to undermine her story, the Lincoln Project published Horn’s exchanges with a journalist, but it later deleted the tweets.
“When I spoke to one of the founders to raise my objections and concerns, I was yelled at, demeaned and lied to,” Horn said, according to the Times.
She also said she was “never part of, or included in, the Lincoln Project’s inner circle” and she was only “earning a small fraction of what some of my male counterparts did.”
With the turmoil, Horn said, she was pressured to resign.
She was not the only Lincoln Project insider who attacked Weaver after the allegations of sexual misconduct were revealed.
Co-founder Steve Schmidt, who also resigned from the group, claimed that he was “incandescently angry” about the allegations.
“I detest John Weaver in a way I can’t articulate,” Schmidt said in a statement.
“My heart breaks that young men felt unseen and unheard in an organization that I started. I am ashamed of it,” he added.
The Lincoln Project distanced itself from Weaver, but Horn sued.
The big payout to her comes at an inopportune time for the group as the November midterm elections loom. With hundreds of thousands of dollars no longer in its accounts to use for its anti-Trump activities and donations drying up, the Lincoln Project is in bad shape.
Born out of abject hatred for Donald Trump in 2019, the group has more recently found its friends dwindling. Even many of its Democratic friends have fled.
The organization also drew heavy fire in October for the strange and tasteless stunt of planting fake protesters outside the campaign bus of Glenn Youngkin, the Republican running for governor of Virginia. The fake protesters were dressed in outfits meant to emulate the far-right extremists who were involved in the Charlottesville violence in 2017.
Members of the group later admitted that they were behind the sick deed.
With its friends abandoning it, its reputation tarnished, much of its money going to settlement payments and its main reason for existence not even in office, the Lincoln Project seems like it’s in deep trouble.