GOP staffer who accused head of CPAC of sexual assault identifies himself publicly

Dallas, TX - August 4, 2022: Matt Schlapp speaks during CPAC Texas 2022 conference at Hilton Anatole
Dallas, TX - August 4, 2022: Matt Schlapp speaks during CPAC Texas 2022 conference at Hilton Anatole Photo: Shutterstock

The Herschel Walker campaign staffer who accused influential Republican leader Matt Schlapp of groping him has publicly identified himself.

Carlton Huffman decided to share his identity after a judge told him he could not continue with his lawsuit against Schlapp anonymously.

Huffman “has not established I think the heavy burden of establishing both a concrete need for secrecy and identifying the consequences that would likely befall him if forced to proceed in his own name,” Judge Lisa Bondareff Kemler reportedly stated.

Huffman told the Washington Post that he is “not backing away” and is “not going to drop this.”

“Matt Schlapp did what he did and he needs to be held accountable.”

In January, Huffman anonymously told The Daily Beast that on October 19, 2022, Schlapp – an adviser to former President Donald J. Trump – sexually assaulted him while driving Schlapp back to his hotel from a bar. The staffer alleged that Schlapp “groped” and “fondled” his genitals in the car and that his actions were “sustained and unwanted and unsolicited.”

According to Huffman, Schlapp had been making advances toward him earlier in the evening, buying him drinks and violating his personal space while claiming he wanted to discuss the staffer’s professional future. On the drive back to Schlapp’s hotel, Huffman said, “it escalated.” Huffman also claims that Schlapp invited him up to his hotel room.

Huffman reportedly recorded videos recounting the incident immediately after. He also reported the incident to a senior official on the Walker campaign, who advised him to tell Schlapp in writing that he had made him uncomfortable. Huffman shared his text exchange with Schlapp with the Daily Beast, and an official from Walker’s campaign confirmed the story.

Huffman said Walker’s campaign was extremely supportive and gave him “complete autonomy” over whether he wanted to press charges. At the time, he was afraid doing so would affect his career and contribute to the “circus of scandals” that led to the downfall of Walker’s campaign.

Walker’s campaign was plagued with controversy as more and more women came forward with accusations that he fathered their children but didn’t raise them, that he paid for or pressured them to get abortions, and that he was abusive towards them. Walker denied all the accusations made in 2022, calling them part of a vast Democratic conspiracy against him – with some of his supporters suggesting Satan was behind the allegations – but he didn’t deny his ex-wife’s accusations of threats and abuse, saying that he didn’t remember hurting her.

He also heavily relied on anti-LGBTQ+ sentiment in his campaign, attacking transgender people in ads and on the campaign trail.

Huffman filed a lawsuit against Schlapp on January 17. The lawsuit seeks $9.4 million in damages. According to The Hill, it accuses Schlapp of battery and accuses him and his wife of defamation for trying to smear Huffman after his allegations came to light.

Schlapp’s lawyer said Huffman’s decision to remain anonymous meant he had an “agenda” to “harm the Schlapp family.”

Schlapp is the chairman of the American Conservative Union, which hosts the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).

In his conversation with the Washington Post, Huffman addressed the fact that years ago, he published racist and white supremacist thoughts on a blog.

“That was an ugly chapter of my life that I am personally ashamed of,” he said. “That is not who I am anymore.”

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