A Republican male staffer who is suing Matt Schlapp, the head of the American Conservative Union, for unwanted sexual contact filed a second lawsuit Tuesday against another GOP operative for defamatory statements she allegedly made on Twitter.
The complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for Washington, D.C., alleges that Caroline Wren, a Republican staffer involved in fundraising for former president Donald Trump and planning the “Stop the Steal” rally at the Ellipse, a park in D.C., that preceded the insurrection at the Capitol on January 6, 2021, tweeted “false and defamatory” statements regarding the accuser after the initial allegations came to light.
In his suit, the plaintiff claims that Wren defamed him while defending Schlapp from a civil allegation of sexual assault.
The accuser claims that after an appearance with the Herschel Walker campaign in Georgia in October, Schlapp hit on the staffer before allegedly assaulting him.
Schlapp allegedly groped the man in a car in which the ACU leader was being driven, grabbing the plaintiff's genitals without his consent. The ACU runs the high-profile Conservative Political Action Conference.
Schlapp has denied the claim.
The lawsuit includes screen shots of tweets from Wren that the plaintiff’s lawyer asserts are false and defamatory.
“‘The republican strategist alleges.’ He’s not a 'strategist', he was a 39 yr old volunteer driver who had been fired from multiple campaigns for lying and unethical behavior. @jamiegangel knew this, chose not to print it, and is now reporting her lies on television. Shame on her,” Wren tweeted on January 11, alongside a clip from CNN about the allegations against Schlapp.
“Mr. Doe was not a volunteer driver. Nor was Mr. Doe 'fired from multiple campaigns for lying and unethical behavior.' Both statements are false, and the latter statement is false and defamatory,” the accuser’s attorney wrote in the suit.
In the lawsuit, the accuser’s lawyers said they sent Wren a letter demanding she takes down her Twitter statements about him, but she did not. According to court documents, Wren received a letter from the accuser’s lawyer about tweets she made about the accuser on January 12.
Since the allegations came to light, anonymous sources have emailed tips to various news organizations about the man whose identity is being shielded. The Advocate has learned the plaintiff’s identity but is choosing to retain that information.
On Wednesday, chief judge Beryl Howell ruled that not only could the plaintiff proceed as a “John Doe” in the suit, but additionally that defendant Wren “is prohibited from publicly disclosing plaintiff’s identity or any personal identifying information that could lead to the identification of plaintiff.”
The last time Wren tweeted identifying information about the plaintiff was one day before Howell’s order.
Wren is being sued for $500,000 in damages.