Schlapp Happy?

Did this Republican chair pay a man to drop his sexual assault suit?

After a year-long court battle, the man who accused Republican operative Matt Schlapp of sexual assault has dropped the lawsuit. While Schlapp has been quick to characterize this as a full exoneration, claiming that no money changed hands, sources familiar with the settlement have indicated that the accuser was in fact paid — as in, nearly half a million dollars paid.

Schlapp is the head of the American Conservative Union — the organization that puts on CPAC, the yearly conference where the Republican party lays out its agenda. In late 2022, former Herschel Walker campaign staffer Carlton Huffman accused Schlapp of sexual battery and defamation. According to The Daily Beast, Huffman alleged that Schalpp “groped” and “fondled” his crotch on the drive home after a night out — a night out where they’d discussed Huffman’s professional future.

Huffman was seeking $9.4 million in damages, but on Tuesday, Huffman settled the suit, apparently having received no money.

Huffman’s statement, as delivered through a spokesperson for Schlapp, read, “The claims made in my lawsuits were the result of a complete misunderstanding, and I regret that the lawsuit caused pain to the Schlapp family.”

Regarding the defamation allegation, the statement continued, “The Schlapps have advised that the statements made about me were the result of a misunderstanding, which was regrettable.”

“Neither the Schlapps nor the ACU paid me anything to dismiss my claims against them,” the statement added.

Huffman’s direct statement to CNN was much more restrained: “I am only legally allowed to say five words, and that is ‘We have resolved our differences.’ Those are the only five words that I’m legally allowed to say.”

While it is technically true that Huffman received no payment from bank accounts belonging to Schlapp or the ACU, sources close to the case have claimed that he received a $480,000 settlement from the ACU’s insurance company.

Regardless, Schlapp has been quick to spin the settlement as proof of a hoax blown out of proportion by liberal media. “From the beginning, we asserted our innocence,” Schlapp’s statement read. “Our family was attacked by a left-wing media that is focused on the destruction of conservatives regardless of the truth and the facts.”

“The left-wing media did not, of course, wait for the facts to come out and instead launched a character assassination campaign to destroy CPAC, Matt, and his family,” CPAC board added.

In this case, at least, the “left-wing media” has not left out the tiny detail of an alleged half-a-million dollar settlement.

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