The Anti-Trump zealots of the Lincoln Project have been holding their tongues for a month, but this weekend the evidence against co-founder John Weaver grew too strong to ignore. In a statement that followed an explosive New York Times story that revealed Weaver to be a gay predator who has sent sexually inappropriate messages to boys as young as 14, the Lincoln Project condemned and put distance between themselves and their creator.
Weaver’s troubles came to light last month due to reporting by Ryan Girdusky of The American Conservative. Girdusky and others accused the former campaign operative of using his power and connections to pressure young men in politics to perform sexual favors. Girdusky’s reporting turned into a bigger story when Axios picked up the threads in January. That story finally drew Weaver out of his silence; he came out of the closet and admitted that he sent inappropriate messages to young men.
“For too long I have tried to live a life that wasn’t completely true, where I cleaved off an important part of myself in order to maintain what I thought was happiness and normalcy in the other part. I was lying [to] myself, to my family who gave me nothing but unconditional love, and to others, causing a great deal of pain to all,” Weaver said. “The truth is that I’m gay. And I have a wife and two kids who[m] I love. My inability to reconcile those two truths has led to this agonizing place.
“While I am taking full responsibility for the inappropriate messages and conversations, I want to state clearly that the other smears being leveled at me by Donald Trump’s enablers as a way to get back at the Lincoln Project for our principled stand for democracy are categorically false and outrageous,” he continued.
At that time, the rest of the Lincoln Project leaders were content to say, “John’s statement speaks for itself,” obviously hoping that this ugly story would kinda dwindle away on its own. Those hopes were dashed, however, after the NY Times story debuted on Sunday, shedding light on allegations from 21 young men against Weaver. One of those allegations came from Cole Trickle Miele, who was only 14 when Weaver started trying to groom him.
“I remember being a 14-year-old kid interested in politics and being semi-starstruck by John Weaver engaging in a conversation with me,” Trickle Miele said.
That left the Lincoln Project with no choice but to issue a forceful statement denouncing Weaver:
John Weaver led a secret life that was built on a foundation of deception at every level. He is a predator, a liar, and an abuser. We extend our deepest sympathies to those who were targeted by his deplorable and predatory behavior. We are disgusted and outraged that someone in a position of power and trust would use it for these means.
The totality of his deceptions are beyond anything any of us could have imagined and we are absolutely sickened by it. Like so many, we have been betrayed and deceived by John Weaver. We are grateful beyond words that at no time was John Weaver in the physical presence of any member of The Lincoln Project.
We’ll see if the NeverTrump group can move beyond their badly-tainted brand to continue helping Democrats or if this is the first and last nail in their dilapidated coffin.