Lincoln Project's Rick Wilson raised $64G for anti-Trump film that was never released
Wilson raised $64,766 from around 1,400 donors for the film – based on his book under the same title – on the crowdfunding platform GoFundMe, though donations have since been paused for the project.
The GoFundMe page initially claimed the feature-length documentary would premiere in January 2018. But a January 2018 update from Wilson said filmmakers were still working on its "first round of interviews" and asked people to give more money to the project.
"Team Trump won't like this, but we're in the home stretch in this fundraising effort for [the film]," Wilson wrote. "Your support is more vital and appreciated than ever."
GoFundMe Fox News screenshot
Wilson provided no updates for nearly two months, when he said in March 2018 that the film was in "final production" and again asked for more money.
Nearly a year later in February 2019, Wilson insisted that the project was "still happening" and that he needed to "expand the scope of the project to truly tell the story."
"We will endeavor to keep our community more informed as the project goes forward," he wrote, but no update has been posted to the page since then.
Wilson and Ben Howe, who is listed as the project's director and producer, did not immediately respond to email inquiries from Fox News.
The PAC saw enormous financial success in its efforts to remove former President Donald Trump from office, raising $90 million since its creation in 2019. Only $27 million of that amount, however, went toward advertising costs, and the organization has spent more than $50 million on consulting firms controlled by the group's leaders.
Journalist Glenn Greenwald on Monday condemned the Lincoln Project as "the single most audacious, flagrant and successful political scam" he has seen in his "lifetime" and asked Wilson whether the GoFundMe donations for his film would be returned.
Other journalists and political pundits have criticized The Lincoln Project in recent weeks after reporters revealed inappropriate communications between co-founder John Weaver and various young men, which the PAC did not publicly comment on or take action against until this year despite prior warnings about his conduct.
The harassment allegations and new revelations about spending practices raise significant questions about the management of one of the highest-profile antagonists of Trump.
Co-founders Jennifer Horn and Stephen Schmidt have since resigned. George Conway, former Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway's husband and Lincoln Project co-founder, left the group in August of 2020.
The Lincoln Project said in a Feb. 5 statement that Horn had requested an immediate "signing bonus" payment of $250,000 and a $40,000/month consulting contract, along with a board seat, a television show, a podcast hosting assignment and staff before she resigned.
The revelations threaten the stature of not just the Lincoln Project but also the broader coalition of establishment-oriented Republican groups hoping to pool their resources to excise Trump from the party.
Schmidt insisted that he and the rest of the group's leadership were not aware of any internal allegations of wrongdoing involving 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," Schmidt said. "In other words, no human being ever made an allegation about any inappropriate sexualized communications about John Weaver ever."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.