- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 17, 2021

A top adviser to the Republican anti-Trump group Lincoln Project on Wednesday pleaded for supporters not to abandon it because of sexual harassment and reported coverup.

Ryan Wiggins, a woman who says she’s staying on with Lincoln Project as other staffers jumped ship, disputed media coverage of the chaos at the Lincoln Project.

“The Lincoln Project is not what you are reading about in the press,” tweeted Ms. Wiggins. “You are reading about pettiness. You are reading about vendettas.”

She added, “The Lincoln Project is a movement. It’s a hard-working staff, but it is also supporters who cheered for us and donated to our cause.”

The prominent Never Trump operation was rocked by revelations that a co-founder of the group, John Weaver, sexually harassed at least 21 men. Two teenage boys also accused Mr. Weaver of sexual harassment.

The revelation expanded to suspected financial wrongdoing and accusations that Lincoln Project leaders knew of Mr. Weaver’s conduct and covered it up.

George Conway, another Lincoln Project co-founder, this week demanded an investigation into the group’s activity.

“An investigation is necessary,” said Mr. Conway in a series of tweets on Tuesday. “But it has to be thorough, and not a whitewash. And — THE LYING HAS TO STOP. It’s clear now that, as early [as] last *MARCH*, the people who were in operational control of the Lincoln Project … were told of Weaver’s predations.”

Mr. Conway called on the Lincoln Project to waive nondisclosure agreements and allow the organization’s workers to “come clean.”

The Lincoln Project announced earlier that it hired Paul Hastings, a large law firm, to investigate accusations involving Mr. Weaver. Lawyers at the firm have previously donated to the Lincoln Project’s cause of ousting former President Donald Trump from office and preventing Trump-aligned candidates from winning elections, according to reports.

“We are committed to creating a positive, diverse, and inclusive workplace environment at The Lincoln Project and inappropriate behavior by anyone associated with the organization will not be tolerated under any circumstances,” the group said in a statement this week. “We already have taken decisive action to address internal concerns. Additionally, we are releasing staff and former staff from the confidentiality provisions in their employment agreements to discuss their workplace environment.”

The Lincoln Project has attempted to soldier on despite the turmoil.

In the last seven days, the Lincoln Project’s Twitter account labeled Sen. Lindsey Graham, South Carolina Republican, a “parasite” and retweeted content describing the Republican Party as a “domestic terror cell.”

The Lincoln Project targeted Mr. Graham and several other Republican senators, including Sen. Susan M. Collins of Maine, in the run-up to the November 2020 election before those candidates emerged as victors.

• Ryan Lovelace can be reached at rlovelace@washingtontimes.com.

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