Veteran Republican politician strategist Steve Schmidt, one of the faces of the so-called Never Trump motion, announced Friday that he has resigned from the board of the Lincoln Project.

The relocation follows a tumultuous week in which revelations appeared that the company, a prominent critic of previous President Donald Trump, knew about accusations of unwanted sexual advances including one of its co-founders several months prior to acknowledging them publicly.

Schmidt made the statement in a lengthy post on Twitter in which he shared a personal account of sexual assault from a Young boy Scout medic, a yearslong battle with depression and an apology for posting the private messages of a former Lincoln Project official a day earlier.

” I am resigning my seat on the Lincoln Project board to make room for the appointment of a female board member as the initial step to reform and professionalize the Lincoln Task,” Schmidt composed.

Spiraling claims of misbehavior have rocked the well-funded super PAC over the last 48 hours, raising existential questions about the company’s future while undercutting its message at a hard time. Having long declared the moral high ground in its battle against Trump, the Lincoln Task is working to press Senate Republicans to convict the former president in this week’s impeachment trial.

The Lincoln Job also played a significant function in pushing Republican-friendly businesses to stop contributing money to Trump’s Republican allies in Congress.

Schmidt’s statement came less than an hour after a lawyer for previous Lincoln Task official Jennifer Horn sent a note to the Lincoln Task counsel informing them that they ought to protect documents and communications in anticipation of litigation.

In his declaration, Schmidt acknowledged playing a role in the public release of a series of private messages between Horn and a press reporter the night before.

” I am not the everyday manager of the Lincoln Task, but I am the senior leader. As the senior leader, it is my duty to set an example and to presume responsibility,” he wrote.

” I would like to say sorry to Jennifer Horn,” he continued. “She should have much better from me. She deserved a leader who might restrain his anger.”

While he stepped down from the four-member board, Schmidt is expected to keep a function at the Lincoln Project. His declaration did not address what he or other leaders might have understood about co-founder John Weaver’s misconduct before it ended up being public late last month.

Last June, members of the company’s leadership were notified in writing and in subsequent telephone call of a minimum of 10 particular accusations of harassment against Weaver, consisting of 2 involving Lincoln Job employees, according to several individuals with direct understanding of the situation. The e-mail and call raised concerns about the Lincoln Project’s statement last month that it was “surprised” when allegations appeared openly this year.

The company announced Thursday evening, after the new details were reported by The Associated Press, that its board had chosen to “keep a best-in-class outside expert” to review Weaver’s period “to establish both responsibility and finest practices going forward for The Lincoln Job.”

The Lincoln Job launched in November 2019 and rapidly became an effective player in the political battle versus Trump and his allies in Congress.

Given that its creation, the company has raised $90 million. However just about a 3rd of the money, approximately $27 million, straight spent for advertisements that aired on broadcast and cable television, or appeared online, throughout the 2020 campaign, according to an analysis of project finance disclosures and data from the ad tracking company Kantar/CMAG.


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