A lawsuit was filed by an anonymous defendant on Tuesday against Matt Schlapp and his wife Mercedes, two prominent Republican insiders in Washington, D.C., alleging sexual battery and defamation. The two are a conservative power couple at the intersection between the traditional conservative movement and the MAGA wing of the Republican Party.
The lawsuit begins in October 2022, when Schlapp allegedly groped and propositioned a male staffer of Herschel Walker’s Senate campaign while appearing at events for the Georgia Republican. the incident, First reported by The Daily BeastSenior officials in the Walker campaign were notified immediately, which Vox was able to confirm.
The lawsuit isn’t targeting Schlapp solely for what is described as “aggressive foreplay.” [the plaintiff’s] genitalia in a sustainable way,” but for what it describes as an organized effort by Schlapp and his wife to discredit the accuser. The lawsuit also alleges that the accuser was defamed by Charlie Spies, Schlapp’s attorney, and Caroline Wren, a Republican activist participating in the infamous January 6, 2021 rally in Washington, D.C., as well as Schlabs. The lawsuit includes a text sent by Mercedes Schlapp to a neighborhood group chat that incorrectly described the accuser as a “troubled individual who was fired for lying.”
Who is Matt Schlapp?
Schlapp is at the epicenter of Washington’s conservative establishment. A former political director in the George W. Bush White House, in 2014 he became president of the American Conservative Union (ACU), the right-wing group that participates in the highly influential annual conference of the Conservative Political Action Coalition (CPAC). Schlapp’s fame grew during the Trump administration when he became an outspoken ally of the former president, appeared regularly on Fox News Channel, and Mercedes Schlapp became a senior staffer inside the Trump White House. Meanwhile, Schlapp, a father of five, has maintained an active lobbying presence through his firm Cove Strategies and mobilized millions during the Trump administration. as authors Lachlan Markay And Sweepseng’s equals described in Their critically acclaimed book drowning in the swampAnd “The Shelabs have carved out their own as a power couple under Trump, wielding influence in the president’s inner circle and translating that influence into lucrative lobbying deals.”
why does it matter?
Schlapp’s importance due to ACU and CPAC. There are plenty of well-connected Republicans within the Beltway, and certainly a number of Trump allies, who have tried to leverage their ties to the former president to become right-wing media figures. But what sets Schlapp apart from your average Tom, Dick, or Seb Gorka is his control of CPAC. The conference is the annual measuring stick for the identity of the conservative movement and has followed Right drift to Trump like Blocked numbers once From the conference as radicals now Distinguished speakers. It’s where The emergence of establishment politicians When they need to co-opt conservatives and where conservative politicians Show up to get attention.
CPAC is also a win center where sponsors try to get the conservative movement to embrace its policy goals. Under Trump, corporate sponsors have been traditional I backed off for more Groups and companies that tend to MAGA. Controversies intensify over topics that are discussed and not in CPAC. Recently, traditional social conservatives have complained about abortion has been perverted In favor of MAGAworld favorites like targeting big tech and “wake ups”.
Finally, CPAC is a sight to behold. They attract Republican incumbents, aspiring incumbents, staffers, consultants, service workers, and odd wonders from all over the country. It is a place where attendees appear dressed as George Washington, the disgraced member of Congress Hot tub party, and where much of the hot dog industry is done in Washington Networks. While other conservative groups like TPUSA have held more raucous events with high-profile speakers as well, CPAC still maintains a unique holding power on the right.
The suit raises questions about whether Schlapp will be able to retain his prominent position as ACU president and comes just weeks before CPAC’s annual conference in early March, which usually draws international attention. The conference has partnered with conservative LGBT groups in the past, such as GOProud and the Log Cabin Republicans, although it has also hosted speakers such as Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who Denounce same-sex marriage On stage at last year’s convention in Texas.
what is happening now
In a statement to Vox, Tim Hyland, the defendant’s attorney, said: “Our client is a victim of sexual assault by Mr. Schlapp… Mr. Schlapp has not directly denied our client’s allegations and with good reason — they are unequivocally true and supported by extensive contemporaneous evidence.” Through his friends and associates, he started a whispering campaign and directed attacks on social media to spread lies about our customers.
“We intend to maintain a singular focus on proving that Matt Schlapp is a sexual predator who assaulted our client. Because Mr. Schlapp refused to stand his conduct, this suit is intended to hold Mr. Schlapp and those who lie for him accountable for their actions.” The lawsuit requests at least $9.4 million in damages.
in statment Spies, which Schlapp posted on Twitter, said: “This anonymous complaint clarifies the accused’s true agenda, working in concert with [the] Daily Beast to attack and damage the Schlapp family. The complaint is false and the Shallab family suffers from unbearable pain and pressure due to a false claim from an unknown person. No family should ever have to go through this, and Schlapps and their legal team are evaluating counterclaim options.”
Neither Schlapp nor Spies responded to follow-up requests for comment from Vox.