CPAC Chair Matt Schlapp Agreed to Settle Sexual Assault Lawsuit: Report

The GOP strategist who accused Matt Schlapp of sexual assault last year reportedly received a hefty financial settlement to drop his lawsuit against the CPAC chairman — a day after Schlapp and his allies widely boasted on social media that the case had been dismissed.

On Wednesday, the Daily Beast reported that sources with knowledge of the payout said that the money for the settlement came from the Schlapp’s right wing organization American Conservative Union’s insurance policy. CNN published a story stating that the suit was dropped after Schlapp’s accuser was paid a $480,000 settlement through an insurance policy — the amount was confirmed by a source to the Daily Beast.

Carlton Huffman, a former campaign staffer to Georgia Senate candidate Herschel Walker, sued the Schlapps in January last year. Huffman alleged that the CPAC chief defamed him and committed sexual battery against the staffer when he “reached in between [his] legs and fondled” him in a “sustained and unwanted and unsolicited” manner. 

His suit also named Mercedes Schlapp, Schlapp’s wife and a former Trump White House communications adviser. Huffman claimed Mrs. Schlapp attempted to “impugn” his character in her response to the allegations against her husband, calling him a “troubled individual,” and alleged he had been dismissed from the campaign after lying on his resume in a group chat with neighbors.

“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,” Huffman said in a statement provided by Schlapp’s spokesperson. “Neither the Schlapps nor the ACU paid me anything to dismiss my claims against them.”

After news broke Tuesday that Huffman dropped his lawsuits against the couple, Schlapp and his wife shared a lengthy statement to X/Twitter, touting their “innocence” from the beginning and accused the left of “waging a relentless war” on social media and the legal system. “Our family was attacked by a left-wing media that is focused on the destruction of conservatives regardless of the truth and the facts,” read the post, which was emblazoned by the CPAC logo. “Going forward, our eyes are wide open, we understand the struggle better and we learned we must stand our ground and fight or else the haters on the left will destroy every conservative and ultimately our nation.”

However, sources told the Daily Beast that Huffman has taken issue with the content of the statement the Schlapp spokesperson provided to media outlets and said the verbiage was not what Huffman had agreed to as part of the settlement.


When CNN reached out for comment, Huffman told the outlet: “I am only legally allowed to say five words, and that is ‘We have resolved our differences.’”

The accusations against Schlapp caused a ruckus within CPAC, including the resignation-in-protest of the committee’s vice chair and calls for further investigation into allegations that Schlapp had previously harassed two other young men — one during a CPAC business trip.


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