There's probably never been a sleazier or more vicious organization in American politics than The Lincoln Project. Naturally, it was heavily funded by the tech oligarchs in Silicon Valley. The Lincoln Project set itself apart from most political organizations by never even addressing, for the most part, ideas or policies. Instead, they always went personal, immediately going right for the throat.
Rather than argue against what Donald Trump might be doing or not doing, the Lincoln Project instead threatened his attorneys and spread filth about his aides. In January, for example, one Lincoln Project executive bragged: "We are constructing a database of Trump officials and staff that will detail their roles in the Trump administration & track where they are now ... They will be held accountable." It always sounded a little more like MS-13 than a political operation.
Now, because life is irony, there are reports that the FBI is investigating The Lincoln Project, specifically co-founder John Weaver. You may remember him because he helped manage John McCain's run for president. He also worked for former Ohio Gov. John Kasich. In his spare time, Weaver spent enormous energy trying to lure young boys into sex. At least one of those boys was 14 years old. Twenty-one of John Weaver's alleged victims now accuse him of sexual harassment.
It's an awful story, but here's the worst part: The Lincoln Project clearly had a pretty good idea what John Weaver was up to. For decades, political consultants whispered rumors that John Weaver had tried to molest little boys. Karl Rove, to his credit, once said that out loud and was promptly attacked by the Atlantic magazine. Weaver's colleagues at the Lincoln Project knew all this, but they hid the truth from the public and from law enforcement. Inside the organization, they made it clear they understood what was happening.
We're not guessing at this; here's an excerpt from a new piece in New York magazine: "Beginning in September, much of the Lincoln Project staff convened in Park City, Utah, where they hunkered down in a COVID-safe pod until Election Day. [Author's Note: Can't make this stuff up.] By this time, the allegations against Weaver were an open secret in the company, according to former employees. One former employee said that's when his boss warned him to avoid Weaver. 'When I was told, it was almost in passing that I did not want to be involved with Weaver specifically because I am a young man,' the former employee said.
"One night over drinks with much of the staff, four employees recall, Weaver's behavior came up repeatedly as a topic of discussion. One person remembers [Steve] Schmidt and co-founder Rick Wilson telling people Weaver was 'depraved' and 'twisted' and that they wouldn't want to know the truth about him."
In other words, inside the office, Lincoln Project executives essentially joked about John Weaver soliciting sex from teenagers. So the question is, why are we learning all of this now? Because the election is over. Donald Trump lost, so reporters no longer have any political motive to protect John Weaver. Until November, the media had every incentive to promote him as a man of principle, which they assiduously did.
To hear them talk, The Lincoln Project cared only about democracy. It didn't have anything to do with all the money they got. They'd do it for free. They promised they would.
This subject came up a lot. And every time it did, Lincoln Project employees seemed especially sensitive about the question of money. That should have told you something.
Here's the aforementioned Rick Wilson talking to "60 Minutes":
WILSON, OCT. 11: The easiest way in the world for a Republican strategist to make money right now is to shut up and say nice things about Donald Trump. So clearly, we're in the wrong line of work.
Of course, that's the opposite of the truth. Rick Wilson found the only line of work that would have him, and apparently not a moment too soon. Published reports show that Wilson faced liens for hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid federal taxes. American Express took him to court for not paying his credit card bills to the tune of more than $25,000. For a guy like that, the Lincoln Project was a godsend.
According to the Associated Press: "Of the $90 million Lincoln Project has raised, more than $50 million has gone to firms controlled by the group’s leaders." According to the Federal Election Commission, in the month of December alone, The Lincoln Project shoveled $1.5 million to Steve Schmidt, who incidentally bought a big new house.
According to news reports, the Lincoln Project spent $38,000 on a private jet company. They spent $1.7 million with co-founder Mike Madrid's firm, and they gave $420,000 to co-founder Reid Galen's firm. We hope these guys saved the money, because it's hard to imagine we'll be hearing much more from The Lincoln Project.
Steve Schmidt resigned from The Lincoln Project Friday, writing a resignation letter in which he portrays himself as the victim (it's all about him, you see) and then says he's resigning because the board of The Lincoln Project has too many middle-aged white men.
Keep in mind, just a week ago, The Lincoln Project was powerful and feared. Now, it's done. It's over. It's not coming back. The lesson is, things change fast. Ask Andrew Cuomo.
A lot of people expected Andrew Cuomo to be Joe Biden's attorney general, maybe even vice president. Cuomo played an instrumental role in Biden's campaign for the White House. He helped the party leverage coronavirus for political ends. He's one of the reasons that a lot of voters in November wound up believing that Donald Trump was personally responsible for COVID. Some voters appeared convinced that Trump had cooked up the virus himself in a lab deep beneath Mar-a-Lago.
Not that Andrew Cuomo was doing a great job as governor of New York. More people were dying in his state than in any other state in the country. But for the best part of a year, nobody in the media said that out loud. They allowed Cuomo to win an Emmy, in fact, for saying things like this:
CUOMO, MARCH 2020: My mother's not expendable, and your mother is not expendable, and our brothers and sisters are not expendable, and we're not going to accept a premise that human life is disposable.
"Human life is not disposable," says the abortion guy.
Well, thanks to the New York Post and a handful of other relentless journalists who pursued the story for more than a year, we now know that, in fact, Andrew Cuomo does believe human life is disposable.
Here are the details: Andrew Cuomo's top aide, Melissa DeRosa, privately admitted the truth in a call with state lawmakers. According to DeRosa, the Cuomo administration deliberately covered up the true number of coronavirus-related nursing home deaths in the state of New York. They refused to tell lawmakers how many people were really dying.
Why did they do this? Why did they lie? Well, DeRosa explained, the administration was worried that telling the truth about how many people were dying in nursing homes would hurt Joe Biden and help Donald Trump.
"He [Trump] starts tweeting that we killed everyone in nursing homes," DeRosa said. "He starts going after [New Jersey Gov. Phil] Murphy, starts going after [California Gov. Gavin] Newsom, starts going after [Michigan Gov. Gretchen] Whitmer."
Then, she worried, Trump "directs the Department of Justice to do an investigation into us. And basically, we froze, because we were in a position where we weren't sure if what we were going to give to the Department of Justice or what we gave to you guys, what we start saying, was going to be used against us while we weren't sure if there was going to be an investigation. That played a very large role in this."
In other words, we lied because we didn't want to get caught. The most basic explanation of all. We didn't want to help our political enemies and concede how many people we killed.
There are now 15,000 confirmed and presumed nursing home deaths in the state of New York. That's up from 12,700 as recently as late January. We don't have those figures because the Cuomo administration gave them to us. We have them because a few reporters, like Andrew Kerr of the Daily Caller, noticed that New York's death numbers didn't count nursing home residents who died of the coronavirus at a hospital. We know it because places like the Empire Center for Public Policy think tank obtained a court order forcing Cuomo to release the data to the public, which owns the data. Cuomo owns nothing. He's a public servant, but he wouldn't give up that information until forced.
If we listened to the rest of the media, we wouldn't know any of this. We'd only know about Andrew Cuomo's Emmy. His order that forced nursing homes to admit coronavirus-positive patients? We'd be expected to believe his excuse that all of this was somehow Donald Trump's fault.
Joe Biden is in the White House in part because journalists and members of both political parties refused to look at the facts. It's time we assess the facts honestly.