The Real Russian Collusion: Founder of Anti-Trump Lincoln Project Accepted Russian Lobbying Gig


Commentary

At left, Russian President Vladimir Putin attends the opening ceremony of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing on Feb. 4. At right, Lincoln Project founder John Weaver is seen on a campaign bus in Bow, New Hampshire, on Jan. 20, 2016.

At left, Russian President Vladimir Putin attends the opening ceremony of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing on Feb. 4. At right, Lincoln Project founder John Weaver is seen on a campaign bus in Bow, New Hampshire, on Jan. 20, 2016. (Sue Ogrocki / AP; Charles Krupa / AP)

 By Richard Moorhead  February 28, 2022 at 1:28pm

Those who throw the biggest stones often live in glass houses.

Case in point: The disgraced founder of the anti-Trump Lincoln Project accepted a contract to lobby for Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2019.

Politico reported in May of that year that John Weaver had accepted a $350,000 lobbying contract from Tenam Corp., a subsidiary of the Russian state-owned nuclear energy company Rosatom. Weaver was paid to undermine American sanctions against Russian energy.

Weaver filed paperwork registering himself as a foreign agent of the state-owned company in accordance with the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

The Lincoln Project co-founder admitted that Tenam was owned, directed and supervised by a foreign government in his FARA filing.

He soon was shamed into renouncing the lobbying contract, according to the Washington Examiner.

The move raised questions of rank hypocrisy — Weaver, an operative for former Republican Ohio Gov. John Kasich during the 2016 presidential campaign, signed up as a lobbyist for Russia after criticizing Donald Trump and his presidential campaign for alleged Russian ties.

The Examiner noted that Weaver’s Tenam contract “turned heads due to his previous criticisms of Trump on a range of issues, including alleged coziness with Moscow,” from 2017 through 2019.

Putin lobbying isn’t Weaver’s only unsavory connection. He was forced out of the Lincoln Project last year after admitting to “inappropriate” behavior toward young men.

Does the Lincoln Project have credibility in its stance on Russia?

Several young men accused Weaver of sexual extortion and blackmail, using his lucrative position as a former consultant to Arizona GOP Sen. John McCain to exert power over his subordinates.

Weaver’s accusers came forward with stories that involved the married political consultant stringing them along with potential political job opportunities, The New York Times reported on Jan. 31, 2021. At least one accuser described Weaver demanding sex in a hotel meeting.

“His solicitations included sending messages to a 14-year-old, asking questions about his body while he was still in high school and then more pointed ones after he turned 18,” the Times reported.

Weaver tried to wriggle his way out of accountability in an apology for his sexual harassment, admitting to being gay.

In recent days, the Lincoln Project has framed itself as a pro-Ukrainian organization, all while fixating on Fox News, Tucker Carlson and Trump’s statements.

Ukraine belongs to the Ukrainian people.

— The Lincoln Project (@ProjectLincoln) February 25, 2022

In spite of this, the organization was corrupted by its founder’s pro-Russian activity, leaving its operatives with little credibility on authentic support of the Ukrainian cause.

Talk is cheap, and delivering policy results doesn’t come through cable news segments and advertisements intended to assuage the sympathies of a coastal liberal audience.

During Trump’s tenure, the United States provided lethal weapons to the Ukrainian government for the first time, according to the Atlantic Council.

Putin attacked neighboring countries successively during the presidencies of George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Joe Biden — only refraining from aggression during Trump’s term.

Russia invaded Georgia in 2008, Crimea (a southern province of Ukraine) in 2014 and the entirety of Ukraine this month.

Those facts speak volumes about the reality of Trump’s leadership — and the unreality of the Lincoln Project’s claims.

Richard Moorhead is a conservative journalist, a graduate of Arizona State University, service member, and guitar player.

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