Matt Schlapp's wife engaged in conspiracy to undermine sexual assault allegation against him: lawsuit
Mercedes Schlapp speaking with attendees at the 2022 Young Women's Leadership Summit. (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

Longtime Republican lobbyist and American Conservative Union director Matt Schlapp engaged in defamation to try to bury a sexual assault allegation against him — and his wife, Mercedes Schlapp, engaged in a conspiracy to help him do so, according to a new defamation suit reported on Tuesday by The New York Times.

The original allegation, first reported two weeks ago, is that Schlapp aggressively and non-consensually grabbed the crotch of a male staffer for Herschel Walker's Georgia Senate campaign, who had been tasked with acting as Schlapp's driver — and that the campaign took the staffer, who has filed anonymously to avoid retaliation, off that assignment when he disclosed the assault. Contemporaneous videos and text messages logged his allegations in real time.

"The lawsuit, filed in the Virginia Circuit Court in Alexandria, accuses Mr. Schlapp of 'aggressively fondling' the man’s 'genital area in a sustained fashion' while the two were alone in a car," reported Michael C. Bender. "The staff member filed the suit anonymously, citing privacy concerns and a fear of retaliation given Mr. Schlapp’s influential position as chairman of the American Conservative Union, which hosts the Conservative Political Action Conference."

Schlapp has vehemently denied the allegations, and the ACU board of directors has signaled they plan to stand behind him. Charlie Spies, an attorney representing Schlapp, said in a statement that his client is going through "unbearable pain" over the accusation.

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"The lawsuit also accuses Mr. Schlapp and his wife, Mercedes Schlapp, who served as Mr. Trump’s White House director of strategic communications, of defamation and conspiracy, claiming that they coordinated a campaign to discredit the Walker aide and his allegations," said the report. "The lawsuit accuses Mr. Schlapp of defamation by pointing to Mr. Spies’s initial statement that described the accusations as false, personal attacks. The lawsuit argues that Ms. Schlapp defamed the Walker staff member by telling neighbors that he was a 'troubled individual' who had been fired from previous jobs for lying and for making false statements on his résumé. The message was shared on a group text with neighbors, the plaintiff said."

Schlapp, a longtime defender of former President Donald Trump and advocate for him within the Republican Party, has, through the ACU, hosted the regular Conservative Political Action Conference, a prominent gathering for GOP activists from around the country.