The dust hasn’t even settled on the news that one of their founders was a pedophile, now the Lincoln Project is under intense scrutiny after a records review revealed that the group funneled millions of their donations into companies owned by it’s founders.
Out of roughly $90 million the anti-Trump Lincoln Project has raised, more than half has gone to firms run by the group’s founders, according to open records data reviewed by Fox Business.
Campaign records show that approximately one-third of the money raised by the super PAC, close to $27 million, paid for advertising campaigns that aired during the 2020 campaign.
The vast majority of the money raised, however, was spent on consulting fees to firms ultimately controlled by its founders. This includes roughly $27 million paid to a small consulting firm controlled by Reed Galen, and another $21 million paid to another small firm run by former project member Ron Steslow.
The math of it all leads to questions regarding financial malfeasance.
“It raises questions about where the rest of the money ultimately went,” Brendan Fischer, an attorney with the non-partisan Campaign Legal Center in Washington, said. “Generally speaking, you’d expect to see a major super PAC spend a majority or more of their money on advertisements and that’s not what happened here.”
Several high-profile Washington, DC, insiders launched The Lincoln Project in November of 2019. The organization was formed as a super PAC, allowing its development personnel to raise and spend unlimited sums of money under the law.
Its founders include: Steve Schmidt and Reed Galen, who both served as advisers to John McCain; conservative attorney George Conway, the husband of former-senior advisor to President Trump Kellyanne Conway; former New Hampshire GOP chair Jennifer Horn; Florida-based veteran political advertisement maker Rick Wilson; and John Weaver, a long-time advisor to former Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who also worked extensively with Sen. John McCain before his death.
“We fully comply with the law. The Lincoln Project will be delighted to open its books for audit immediately after the Trump campaign and all affiliated super PACs do so,” Schmidt said deflecting to point the same unfounded finger of conspiracy at the Trump campaign as they did during the election cycle.