As of Friday morning, reporter Yashar Ali said that "The FBI is investigating allegations against longtime GOP political consultant and Lincoln Project co-founder John Weaver, according to two sources who said they were contacted by FBI agents. Those sources told me the agents inquired whether Weaver ever touched them inappropriately or sent or requested sexually explicit material when they were underage."
This comes after The Lincoln Project's Thursday announcement that they will be launching an external investigation into who knew what when about co-founder John Weaver's alleged sexual misconduct. This included the alleged harassment of boys as 14-years-old.
When one former employee, Jennifer Horn, who resigned last week from The Lincoln Project, spoke up about her concerns that the information about Weaver's misconduct was previously known by some in leadership, The Lincoln Project responded by posting private messages between her and a reporter on Twitter.
Jennifer Horn said that for her part, she did not give consent to the public disclosure of these messages.
This material remained on Twitter until The Lincoln Project took it down despite Twitter's policy that "hacked materials" have no place on their site.
Emily Ramshaw, of The 19th, which employs Amanda Becker, who was the reporter on the other side of the private messages with Jennifer Horn, said unequivocally that they would not be bullied by the powerful PAC.
Six former Lincoln Project employees spoke up on Thursday night in a letter obtained by The New York Times, demanding that they no longer be held to the terms of their nondisclosure agreements, so that they could reveal what they know about the allegations into Weaver. In light of the treatment of Horn, however, when those who wished to be released from the NDA's were asked to come forward, they declined to do so. Their letter is unsigned.
In it, they stated that "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."
The announcement of the investigation comes hours after the Associated Press reported that some of Project Lincoln's leaders knew about "10 specific allegations of sexual harassment against co-founder John Weaver, including two involving Lincoln Project employees" as far back as June 2020. Yet the statement released by The Lincoln Project on Thursday night claims that no one knew of these allegations until January.
The statement claimed that the organization was "shocked" when accusations against Weaver were made known in January. But this was contradicted by journalists and former Lincoln Project employees.
Weaver resigned from the "Never Trump" super PAC in January after the allegations surfaced that he sent sexually explicit messages and pictures to 30 men. It was also alleged that Weaver flew some of the men to him for massages, offered jobs in exchange for sex and asked them about their genitals and sexual history.
As soon as the statement went public on Thursday, journalists took issue with its contents, saying that the notion that other members of The Lincoln Project's leadership didn't know about the alleged misconduct until January was "an absolute lie."
Jennifer Horn, another co-founder of The Lincoln Project who resigned in early February, slammed other members of the group's leadership in a pointed statement Thursday. She said "When I spoke to one of the founders to raise my objections and concerns, I was yelled at, demeaned and lied to."
Horn claimed some people in the organization had known about the allegations against Weaver long before they were made public and failed to address them. Horn wrote that "When these young men called me after the NY Times story ran they spoke of feeling ignored, hurt that their experiences were being denied, angry that they had been used and lied to, and fearful that they would be targeted again. It was heartbreaking to hear."
In January it was revealed that Daily Beast editor-at-large Molly Jong-Fast, allegedly knew about the sexually explicit messages that Lincoln Project co-founder John Weaver, had been sending to almost a dozen young men, in which he offered them jobs in exchange for sexual favors.
As part of their Thursday statement, The Lincoln Project said that Weaver had "betrayed all of us," and said that that Weaver's misdeeds "must be reckoned with." Their intention with this investigation is to "establish both accountability and best practices going forward for The Lincoln Project."
The Lincoln Project said that it had hired "a best-in-class outside professional" to review Weaver’s tenure at the organization. The statement added, "The Lincoln Project believes the members of our movement and the victims of John Weaver’s despicable and deceptive behavior are owed the facts, and you will have them. John Weaver betrayed all of us and you deserve the facts presented independently through a transparent process."
In January, Weaver admitted that he had sent inappropriate messages and issued an apology. "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."
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