George Conway: Lincoln Project must give 'full explanation of what happened'

Michael Isikoff
·Chief Investigative Correspondent
·3 min read

One of the founding members of the Lincoln Project said in a new interview that the anti-Trump political group needs to provide a full public accounting of what its leaders knew about the sexual misconduct of one of its top officials as well as questions about the organization’s finances.

So far, Lincoln Project officials’ responses about what and when they knew about the allegations of sexual harassment by consultant and founding member John Weaver have “been a little bit squishy,” veteran lawyer George Conway said in an interview with the Yahoo News podcast “Skullduggery.”

Expressing dismay that the hard work of the group’s employees trying to defeat then-President Donald Trump in the last election has been “blemished” and “undermined” by the scandal engulfing the Lincoln Project, Conway said: “I think all these people are owed — and I think all the people who gave money to the Lincoln Project are owed — a full explanation of what happened. So we know what happened with Weaver, and if there are issues with where the money went, that too.”

Conway resigned from the Lincoln Project last summer because he wanted to devote more time to family matters as his wife, Kellyanne, was stepping down from her White House job as a top adviser to Trump. He said he was unaware of any of the allegations about Weaver at the time.

Attorney George Conway in Washington on January 19, 2017. (Joshua Roberts/Reuters)
Attorney George Conway in 2017. (Joshua Roberts/Reuters)

But given Conway’s public profile, his comments could step up the pressure on the Lincoln Project to be more forthcoming about the multiple allegations swirling around it.

Late last week another Lincoln Project founder, Steve Schmidt, resigned in the aftermath of reports that the group’s leadership was informed as early as June 2020 about at least 10 specific allegations that Weaver had sent improper, harassing phone calls and Twitter messages of a sexual nature to young men. The Lincoln Project has said in response that it was retaining “a best-in-class outside professional” to review Weaver’s tenure “to establish both accountability and best practices going forward for The Lincoln Project.” It has also offered to release employees from nondisclosure agreements.

For his part, Weaver has resigned and issued a public apology. “To the men I made uncomfortable through my messages that I viewed as consensual mutual conversations at the time: I am truly sorry,” he wrote in a statement. “They were inappropriate and it was because of my failings that this discomfort was brought on you.”

There have been separate questions about the huge donations the Lincoln Project raised to run anti-Trump political ads during the last election cycle. According to the Associated Press, more than $50 million of the $90 million the group collected went to consulting firms controlled by its leaders.

John Weaver on a campaign bus in Bow, N.H. in 2016.  (Charles Krupa/AP)
John Weaver in 2016. (Charles Krupa/AP)

Conway’s comments came in an interview hours after the Senate failed to convict Trump in the impeachment trial over the events of Jan. 6. While expressing his “profound sadness and disappointment” about the outcome, Conway predicted that Trump’s legal troubles are far from over. In addition to Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance’s ongoing probe into the Trump Organization’s finances, Conway emphasized that the former president faces real legal jeopardy in the recently announced investigation by Fulton County, Ga., District Attorney Fani Willis into Trump’s attempts to pressure Georgia officials to overturn the results of the election in that state.

Willis “is going to be a household name,” Conway said. “If you try to cause someone to create fake votes in an election, that’s election fraud. It’s clear as day.”

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