To kick Trump out of the White House, the Lincoln Project was founded in December 2019. The main aim of the project was to save the United States from the second term of Trump, as the damage done in the first term was unprecedented.
Although the project succeeded in prohibiting Trump from winning again, it came into the limelight once again. At least 21 members of the project accused one of its founding fathers, John Weaver, of sending sexually explicit text messages.
The New York Times bombshell attracted a severe reaction due to the conservative ideology of the Republicans.
What are the allegations against John Weaver, and how did they affect the Lincoln Project’s cause? Let’s have a look.
John Weaver: An Anti-Trump Molester
John Weaver spent his whole political career working on the backend of the Republican political spectrum. He was the front-line man in promoting the presidential ticket of John McCain in 2008 and then John Kasich in 2016.
For the first time in his political career, he made his first public appearance as 21 men alleged that they received unwanted and nonconsensual sexual messages from him.
The victims even opined that he asked them for sexual favors and told them that he would give them work in politics if they gave him these favors.
Are the Allegations True or Libelous Against the Lincoln Project?
All the allegations seem to be true, as John Weaver made a public appearance and said that,
“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.”
However, Weaver believes that the text messages were consensual, as he termed the messages “consensual mutual conversations.”
As of now, no one has accused him of anything further than sending the messages. According to the reports, Weaver was involved in only one physical sexual activity. However, that was consensual, and he won’t be prone to any legal difficulty on that.
Republicans Attempt to Disavow Weaver Amid Series of Resignations
Republicans started distancing themselves from the co-founder of the Lincoln Project after the allegations came to light. Many of them suggested that despite spending years with Weaver, they were unaware that he had a different sexual orientation.
The problem worsened even further, as the case emerged in the conservative circles. Most of the men surrounding Weaver were conservative, so the backlash was inevitable and imminent.
Looking at the bigger picture, it seems that the cause of the Lincoln project has been damaged due to this act of the co-founder.
Fred Davis, a Republican media consultant, said,
“You could have knocked me over with a feather — I couldn’t believe it…He’s a genius, but that genius comes with a dark cloud.”
Steve Schmidt, another co-founder of the Lincoln Project, resigned as the molestation controversy of John Weaver raised the eyebrows of the political watchdogs.
While announcing his resignation, Schmidt said that he is aware of the situation as he was also molested during his childhood. He said,
“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.”
Schmidt’s resignation might not have impacted the cause much, but he is not the only one to resign recently.
The project’s board members and Mike Madrid and Ron Steslow, resigned in December of the previous year. George Conway, another political activist, also resigned from the project.
Similarly, Jennifer Horn, the only female co-founder of the Lincoln project, resigned as she alleged the organization mishandled the Weaver controversy.
The Way Forward
The naming of the project using the name of the Republican’s founding father was not a surprise. The intentions of the project made by the anti-Trump group were pure to save America from the fascism of Donald Trump.
But the exploitation of the young men from the founding fathers has made the project controversial. The offering of work for sexual exchange by a group made for this cause was never expected, and probably this attempt to molest the younger generation by a 61-year-old man has turned a noble cause into a controversy.