A man who previously anonymously accused the powerful head of the American Conservative Union of sexual harassment has now come forward.
Carlton Huffman, for a long time GOP aide, did so in an interview with Washington Post this week after a judge ruled he must do so in order to move forward with a $9.6 million lawsuit against Schlapp. He plans to file an amended complaint, according to Post, remove the obstacle to taking legal action.
“I’m not backing down,” he told the newspaper.
“Matt Schlapp did what he did, and he needs to be held accountable,” said Huffman, who added, “I’m not going to let this go.”
Schlapp dodged questions from The independent at hearings in the matter at CPAC 2023, held at the Gaylord Convention Center in National Harbor, Md. He has previously denied the aide’s claims.
Mr. Huffman alleges that Schlapp groped his crotch without his consent during a mutual trip the two made to Georgia last fall, in the days leading up to the contested state Senate election. Mr. Huffman and Mr. Schlapp were there to campaign for Herschel Walkerthe football star-turned-politician who, like fellow Trump-backed candidates Dr. Mehment Oz and Blake Masters, fell short in his Senate bid.
He further claims that the ACU leader made unwanted advances towards him.
An attorney for Schlapp expressed confidence but declined to comment further after a hearing in the case Wednesday.
“We are confident that when his full record comes forward in a court of law, we will prevail,” Mark Carallo said, adding, “Out of respect for the court, we have no further comment at this time.”
CPAC 2023 featured sparse attendance compared to previous iterations of the event, which many took as a sign of the ACU’s shift to the right under the chairmanship of Donald Trump. The conference this year was largely a celebration of Trump and his administration, although two of Trump’s announced 2024 rivals as well as likely nominee Mike Pompeo also spoke at this year’s event.
The three-day conference culminated with a speech by the former president, who is again seeking the presidency. His likely top rival for the 2024 nomination, Ron DeSantis, spoke at a separate event that same weekend.