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Claims of harassment, sexism, ‘toxic’ workplace


This story was published in partnership with The 19th, a nonprofit, nonpartisan newsroom reporting on gender, politics and policy. 

The Lincoln Project’s launch in late 2019 was designed to make a splash. 

“We are Republicans, and we want Trump defeated,” four of its co-founders wrote in The New York Times. The organization would go on to raise nearly $90 million for its stated mission of defeating Donald Trump and Trumpism at the ballot box in 2020.

They created attention-grabbing ads that provoked responses from the former president. High-profile liberals such as DreamWorks co-founder David Geffen wrote them six-figure checks. Hundreds of small-dollar donations poured in. Leaders and staff decamped to a preelection headquarters in the ski haven of Park City, Utah, where their effort was chronicled by Hollywood filmmakers. Their plans after the election included leveraging the massive following they gained to build a media empire. They recently launched the platform LPTV

But as of last week, just three of the Lincoln Project’s eight co-founders remained – Rick Wilson, Reed Galen and Steve Schmidt. Schmidt resigned from the organization’s board late Friday, though he remains affiliated with the organization.

The organization faces a rapidly escalating controversy over allegations that another of its co-founders, John Weaver, sexually harassed more than a dozen young men, including some working for the project, and over what other members of senior management knew about the claims and when they knew it.





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