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Lincoln Project co-founder Steve Schmidt RESIGNS to 'make room for a female' in letter saying he was 'abused as a Boy Scout' as FBI investigates John Weaver for 'sexually harassing' young men

 Lincoln Project co-founder Steve Schmidt has resigned from the board 'to make room for a female member' as the anti-Trump super PAC is hit by a sexual harassment scandal - and has revealed his own experiences of childhood sexual abuse.

Schmidt's resignation on Friday came after former employees penned an open letter accusing the Lincoln Project of mishandling sexual harassment allegations leveled against co-founder John Weaver.

The former employees claim that Schmidt and others within the Lincoln Project knew last summer about allegations that Weaver tried to solicit sex from young men and interns by offering them professional advancement.


'I am resigning my seat on the Lincoln Project board to make room for the appointment of a female board member as the first step to reform and professionalize the Lincoln Project,' Schmidt wrote. 

Lincoln Project co-founder Steve Schmidt, pictured, has reportedly resigned from its board
Schmidt's resignation comes amid scandal facing the anti-Trump super PAC regarding fellow co-founder John Weaver, pictured

Lincoln Project co-founder Steve Schmidt, left, has reportedly resigned from its board amid scandal facing fellow co-founder John Weaver, right

Weaver has been accused of using his influence to sexually harass young men and solicit them for sex

Weaver has been accused of using his influence to sexually harass young men and solicit them for sex

Schmidt, 50, started his letter by recounting his own sexual assault while he was a 13-year-old boy at the Rock Hill Boy Scout Camp.

'The older scouts called him "Gay Ray," and taunted and teased us about our inevitable encounter with him when the itch of the mosquito bites became too much to bear. It happened almost precisely like the older kids said it would,' Schmidt wrote.

'Covered in bites, I went to the Medical Cabin. He told me to take my clothes off. I complied. He looked at my body and examined the bites, just like they said he would.'

Schmidt recalled the scout medic applying the ointment to his mosquito bites, feeling 'paralyzed.'

'I remember being paralyzed as his hands moved up my body and brushed over my penis. I remember all of this with perfect clarity up to the moment I was touched. The next part is fuzzier. I just know that I left,' Schmidt said.

He recalled feeling 'lost and strange' and eventually sought counsel from Theodore Cardinal McCarrick, who would later be revealed to have allegedly raped a number of boys and men.

'Learning that the man I trusted to share my soul and the deepest memories of my violation was amongst the most prolific of the Catholic Church's sex criminals permanently shattered my faith and left me estranged from God,' he wrote.

Schmidt went on to say that he first met Weaver in 2006 but did not have a professional relationship with him until December 2019.

'I have said on the record that I learned about John Weaver’s misconduct this past January,' Schmidt said, refuting claims from former employees that leadership knew of the sexual harassment as early as last summer.

Meghan McCain has responded after news reports mentioned Schmidt and Weaver were connected to her late father, John McCain

Meghan McCain has responded after news reports mentioned Schmidt and Weaver were connected to her late father, John McCain

Schmidt added that he has felt 'incandescently angry' since the allegations against Weaver were revealed.

'John Weaver has put me back into that faraway cabin with Ray, my Boy Scout leader. I am incandescently angry about it,' Schmidt said in his letter.

'I am angry because I know the damage that he caused to me, and I know the journey that lies ahead for every young man that trusted, feared and was abused by John Weaver.'

Weaver and Schmidt became acquainted in 2006 while working on the campaign for Sen. John McCain. 

But the late Senator's daughter Meghan McCain has since responded, saying both Weaver and Schmidt were 'despised' by her father.  

'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,' she tweeted. 

 '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.'

McCain added that her father was 'betrayed' by Weaver and Schmidt. 

'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,' she said.

Former Republican Sen. John McCain, left, speaks to senior campaign adviser Steve Schmidt, right, in  2008

Former Republican Sen. John McCain, left, speaks to senior campaign adviser Steve Schmidt, right, in  2008

John Weaver, left, speaks with former Republican Sen. John McCain, center right, and Cindy McCain in 2000

John Weaver, left, speaks with former Republican Sen. John McCain, center right, and Cindy McCain in 2000

The conservative group also faces criticism as Fox News reported Schmidt bought a million-dollar home in Utah as the Lincoln Project raked in huge profits it spent on consulting firms controlled by the group's leaders.

The Lincoln Project has reportedly raised more than $90million since its creation in 2019 but has spent more than $50million on the consulting companies.

Schmidt bought the $1.4million custom home in Kamas, Utah, according to property records and real estate listings reviewed by the outlet.

The home, which Schmidt is currently trying to resell for more than $2.9million, boasts five bedrooms and seven bathrooms.

Weaver left Project Lincoln left last month after it was publicly alleged he offered young men professional support in exchange for sex.

The recent letter from six former staffers demands that the Lincoln Project release them from non-disclosure agreements they signed so they can publicly talk about the claims against him, according to The New York Times.

Schmidt has been accused has also been slammed by the former employees for his attacks on former co-founder Jennifer Horn

Schmidt has been accused has also been slammed by the former employees for his attacks on former co-founder Jennifer Horn

John Weaver is alleged to have targeted a 14-year-old boy and two members of the Lincoln Project's own staff - with its leaders warned in June 2020 but dong nothing then saying they were 'shocked' when revelations emerged publicly in January

John Weaver is alleged to have targeted a 14-year-old boy and two members of the Lincoln Project's own staff - with its leaders warned in June 2020 but dong nothing then saying they were 'shocked' when revelations emerged publicly in January

Schmidt, second left, is a veteran Republican operative and formerly worked as an adviser to Sen. John McCain

Schmidt, second left, is a veteran Republican operative and formerly worked as an adviser to Sen. John McCain

The Lincoln Project announced plans late on Thursday to launch an external investigation to probe claims they knew about sexual misconduct allegations against Weaver before he left the group. 

The organization had said that anyone bound by a nondisclosure should contact the Lincoln Project 'for a release'.

The six staffers, however, said in an open letter they weren't comfortable doing so. 

'Expecting victims and those close to victims to contact and engage the people and organization accused of protecting the very predator at issue is absurd, unreasonable and insensitive,' they said.

By Friday, several others had also resigned from the super PAC.

Lincoln Project spokesperson Kurt Bardella told Axios that he had resigned his position. Nayyera Haq, who joined the group this week as a video series host, also resigned. 

Columnist Tom Nichols said he was 'stepping down as an unpaid advisor' on Friday, according to the outlet.

Weaver, who has served as a longtime Republican strategist, has been accusing of sending unwanted sexually explicit messages online to at least 21 men, telling them that he could help their careers.

Messages were reportedly sent to a 14-year-old boy, asking him questions about his body and then more direct ones after he turned 18, The New York Times reported. 

Earlier on Friday, it was revealed that the FBI is investigating the allegations against 61-year-old Weaver.


Federal agents have now reached out to at least two people to ask if Weaver sexually harassed them when they were underage, reporter Yashar Ali revealed on Friday.  

Those two people said the FBI asked them if Weaver had ever touched them when they were minors, or if he had asked or sent them sexually explicit content. 

It is not yet clear if Weaver is the target of a federal investigation or how wide the scope of the probe is. 

The organization released a statement on Thursday night announcing that its board has decided to retain 'a best-in-class outside professional' to review Weaver's tenure 'to establish both accountability and best practices going forward for The Lincoln Project'

The organization released a statement on Thursday night announcing that its board has decided to retain 'a best-in-class outside professional' to review Weaver's tenure 'to establish both accountability and best practices going forward for The Lincoln Project'

Weaver - who has been married to his wife since 2007 - admitted last month that he was gay and apologized to the men he made 'uncomfortable' with his messages. 

'The truth is that I'm gay and that I have a wife and two kids who I love. My inability to reconcile those two truths has led to this agonizing place,' he said in an interview with Axios. 

'To the men I made uncomfortable through my messages that I viewed as consensual mutual conversations at the time: I am truly sorry.

'They were inappropriate and it was because of my failings that this discomfort was brought on you.'  

1 comment:

  1. Yet the FILTHY CORRUPT FBLIE smashed HillyWITCH's phones and sanitized Jeffy Epstein's island. Then accused a father of two in FL of being a PEDO??? BULL SHIT!

    ReplyDelete