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Lincoln Project Scrambles To Clean Up John Weaver Mess, Publishes Former Employee’s Private Messages

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  • The Lincoln Project is scrambling following reports that its members knew of allegations against co-founder John Weaver as early as June of last year.
  • In since-deleted tweets Thursday night, the Lincoln Project published co-founder Jennifer Horn’s private messages with 19th News correspondent Amanda Becker.
  • Horn said Thursday that the Lincoln Project did not have permission to publish her private messages.

The Lincoln Project is scrambling following reports that its members knew of sexual misconduct allegations against co-founder John Weaver as early as June of last year.

The group published co-founder Jennifer Horn’s private messages with 19th News correspondent Amanda Becker, then deleted the tweets Thursday evening after backlash.

It is not immediately clear how the Lincoln Project obtained Horn’s messages. The Lincoln Project has not responded to requests for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.

“Earlier this evening, we became aware that @AmandaBecker of @19thnews was preparing to publish a smear job on the Lincoln Project with the help of @NHJennifer,” the Lincoln Project tweeted. “You hear a lot of talk about hit-jobs in journalism, but rarely do you get to see their origin story. Enjoy.”

Horn, who left the Lincoln Project last week, tweeted Thursday evening that the Lincoln Project did not have permission to publish her private messages, raising questions about whether the group may face legal troubles. She did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the DCNF.

“Abe hears things,” Lincoln Project co-founder Rick Wilson said in a tweet that retweeted Lincoln Project’s post about Horn’s messages. Wilson has deleted the tweet.

Screenshot, Twitter.

Screenshot, Twitter.

The tweets quickly sparked backlash on Twitter. Lincoln Project co-founder George Conway, who left the Lincoln Project in August 2020, warned in a Thursday evening tweet, “This looks on its face to be a violation of federal law and should be taken down immediately.”

“It is hardly the most important thing happening today, amid impeachment, tens of millions of doses of covid vaccine becoming available, changes coming to Medicaid work requirements. But can’t say I’ve ever seen something like what just happened involving Horn’s account,” New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman tweeted.

Horn wasn’t even the main target. The main target of the Lincoln Project tweets was @AmandaBecker, a great reporter, for the sin of trying to report out a story on the group,” Haberman added. 

“Grifters are hilarious,” columnist Joe Concha tweeted as Conway insisted that “no one ever told” him about allegations against Weaver.

Lincoln Project members were made aware of at least 10 allegations of harassment against Weaver in June 2020, the Associated Press reported Thursday. The group did not take action against Weaver as it continued its high-profile work combatting the reelection of former President Donald Trump.

Regardless, the Lincoln Project expressed shock in January over the allegations against Weaver.

“The totality of his deceptions are beyond anything any of us could have imagined and we are absolutely shocked and sickened by it,” the group said in a January statement.

Conservative writer Ryan Girdusky, a Lincoln Project critic, alleged Jan. 9 that multiple young men had sent him screenshots of predatory messages from Weaver. He later published a story in The American Conservative describing Weaver’s alleged “predatory actions” and alleged grooming of young men.

Several weeks later, The New York Times reported that Weaver had been sending sexually provocative and unsolicited messages to young men for years. The publication talked to 21 young men who said that the messages suggested that Weaver could help them get jobs in politics.

One person was 14 when Weaver messaged him, the Times reported.

Lincoln Project leaders have said they did not know about the allegations against Weaver until this month, though co-founder Steve Schmidt said that the organization’s leaders found from social media posts this summer that Weaver might have relationships with men, the Times reported.

Six former Lincoln Project workers asked Thursday evening to be released from their nondisclosure agreements in order to be able to talk about Weaver, the Times reported, saying in an open letter that they would like to disclose information “that would aid the press, public and our donors in answering questions relevant to the public interest.”

In an early Friday statement the Lincoln Project announced that anyone who believes their non-disclosure agreement prevents them from sharing important information about Weaver should contact the Lincoln Project for a release.

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