The Lincoln Project announced on Tuesday that its leaders were cleared of wrongdoing in co-founder John Weaver’s sexual harassment scandal.
Following allegations that Weaver sexually harassed young men, the 501(c)4 hired the law firm Paul Hastings to conduct an audit of the organization’s handling of the scandal. Co-founders Steve Schmidt and Rick Wilson denied knowledge of the allegations, despite an Associated Press report claiming that they knew about the alleged harassment as early as June 2020. (RELATED: MSNBC Did Not Ask Lincoln Project Founders About John Weaver Despite Booking Them 17 Times After The Story First Broke)
The Lincoln Project has shared the following statement with its supporters. pic.twitter.com/njhIxUSNjA
— The Lincoln Project (@ProjectLincoln) June 22, 2021
The investigation “found no evidence that anyone at The Lincoln Project was aware of any inappropriate communications with any underage individuals at any time prior to the publication” of news reports from The American Conservative and The New York Times, The Lincoln Project tweeted.
“Additionally, the investigation found no communications nor conduct reported to The Lincoln Project or its leadership involving Mr. Weaver and any employee, contractor, or volunteer that would rise to the level of actionable sexual harassment.”
Senior partners at Paul Hastings donated money to The Lincoln Project, calling the firm’s objectivity into question. Managing partner Greg Nitzkowski donated $3,000 during the 2020 election cycle, while Elena Baca, the global chair of the firm’s Employment Law Department, gave $2,000.
Paul Hastings denied a conflict of interest in a statement to the Daily Caller News Foundation in February.
“While individual lawyers have made donations to The Lincoln Project, Paul Hastings has not made any such donations,” the firm said. “None of the individual lawyers who donated will have any involvement with the investigation.”