The FBI is reportedly investigating allegations of sexual misconduct made against longtime establishment Republican operative and Lincoln Project co-founder John Weaver.
Two individuals who spoke to reporter Yashar Ali said they were contacted by FBI agents who made inquiries regarding whether Weaver ever touched them inappropriately or requested sexually explicit material from them when they were underage.
Ali reported that his sources said the investigators' questions were "narrow in scope" and that it is not clear how wide the FBI investigation is. He also noted in his newsletter that "the FBI asking potential witnesses about allegations of illegal conduct does not necessarily mean that someone is the subject or a target of a federal investigation."
Weaver, 61, was formerly a top political adviser to John McCain and John Kasich before going on to found the anti-Trump Lincoln Project. Allegations of sexual misconduct against him were first reported in the American Conservative and later in Forensic News.
At least 21 young men have come forward to accuse Weaver of sexual harassment online, including one 14-year-old boy who claims Weaver asked him about his body. These men accuse Weaver of leveraging his powerful position in politics to manipulate them, promising networking and career favors in exchange for sex.
Weaver, who is married with two children, admitted in January that he had sent "inappropriate" messages to multiple men, apologized for misinterpreting what he says he thought were "consensual mutual conversations," and announced he is gay.
In a statement he made last month to the New York Times, Weaver said: "I am so disheartened and sad that I may have brought discomfort to anyone in what I thought at the time were mutually consensual discussions. In living a deeply closeted life, I allowed my pain to cause pain for others. For that I am truly sorry to these men and everyone and for letting so many people down."
Other founding members of the Lincoln Project claim to have been "shocked" by the allegations against Weaver and deny any prior knowledge of allegations of sexual misconduct made against Weaver.
"No Lincoln Project employee, intern, or contractors ever made an allegation of inappropriate communication about John Weaver that would have triggered an investigation by HR or by an outside employment counsel," Lincoln Project co-founder Steve Schmidt told the Associated Press in a Wednesday interview. "In other words, no human being ever made an allegation about any inappropriate sexualized communications about John Weaver ever."