The NeverTrump Lincoln Project lost another founding member on Friday when former GOP strategist Steve Schmidt resigned. That makes 6 of the 8 people who helped found the organization who have left the group as a result of the growing scandal over the predatory behavior of co-founder John Weaver.
However, Schmidt oddly invoked the cause of diversity in announcing his resignation.
Lincoln Project co-founder Steve Schmidt resigned from the embattled anti-Trump organization Friday night, claiming he did so to “make room for the appointment of a female board member as the first step to reform and professionalize the Lincoln Project.”
“Presently, the Lincoln Project is made up of four middle-aged white men. That composition does not reflect our nation, nor our movement. I am resigning my seat on the Lincoln Project board to make room for the appointment of a female board member as the first step to reform and professionalize the Lincoln Project,” Schmidt said in a statement.
No mention of Weaver or the revelation that Schmidt and other board members knew of the allegations against him of sexual harassment.
Apparently, Schmidt and other board members were informed of at least 10 allegations against Weaver by last June. Schmidt and his colleagues had denied any knowledge of Weaver’s sexual misconduct.
While Schmidt said he is “enormously proud of the Lincoln Project,” he offered an apology to co-founder Jennifer Horn, who resigned from the group last week, over the public dispute that was launched. He called her “an important and valuable member of our team.”
“She deserved better from me. She deserved a leader who could restrain his anger. I am sorry for my failure,” Schmidt told his former colleague.
He also addressed the controversial tweets that showed a private Twitter exchange between Horn and a reporter, claiming it came from “an anonymous source,” but said the private messages “should never have been made public” and that he “accepts responsibility.”
Schmidt is leaving a sinking ship. In addition to potential criminal charges related to the publication of the private Twitter messages, the money that fueled the Lincoln Project’s rise to hero status on the left is rapidly drying up.
Several wealthy donors are considering cutting off their backing for the political action committee, according to people close to these financiers. They are paying especially close attention to the results of an external investigation into whether other leaders knew about allegations that co-founder John Weaver harassed several men, these people added.
Many of the large donors are Democrats who tend to be more forgiving about sexual scandals. But if it’s shown that the board did, indeed, know of Weaver’s behavior and if publishing the private Twitter messages broke the law, all bets are off and even the Democratic donors will run for cover.