GOP Operatives’ Plans To Set Up FBI’s Special Counsel Mueller Backfires, Bigly

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Now, I get why republicans would think that Dr. Christine Blasey Ford publicly coming forward in September 2018 to disclose allegations about how the Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh had sexually assaulted her during their high school years, was a politically staged event. It turns out that Republican Party members were planning to use this exact same trumped-up scenario to besmirch the reputation of the FBI’s lead investigator of the Trump-Russia probe, Robert S. Mueller III.

Here is the rest of the story…

On October 30, 2018, Andrew Prokop of VOX penned the following report, “The incredibly shoddy plot to smear Robert Mueller, explained” (“Mueller’s office has asked the FBI to investigate what happened.”)


“An apparent attempt to drum up phony sexual misconduct allegations against special counsel Robert Mueller collapsed spectacularly Tuesday, and may have landed some conservative activists in hot water with the FBI.”

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“When we learned last week of allegations that women were offered money to make false claims about the Special Counsel, we immediately referred the matter to the FBI for investigation,” Mueller’s spokesperson said in a statement.”

“Exactly what was going on remains unclear — including the object of the apparent scheme. But it spilled into public view after pro-Trump Twitter personality Jacob Wohl ominously suggested Monday night that a story about such allegations was coming, and journalists who had heard about this shady operation reacted with alarm on Twitter, saying it seemed to be a smear attempt.”

screen shot of Jacob Wohl on TV

“The key people involved to some extent appear to be:”

  • “Jacob Wohl: a 20-year-old conservative who’s most famous for sending speedy sycophantic replies to Trump’s tweets and making implausible, factually dubious claims. He also ran some shady hedge funds.”
  • “Jack Burkman: a Republican lobbyist and conspiracy theorist who has repeatedly made false claims to have bombshell political information (such as a mystery witness proving DNC staffer Seth Rich was murdered by the government, or someone who would come forward accusing a member of Congress of sexual harassment).”

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What happened

“The gist is that Wohl, Burkman, or both may have been involved in a plot to drum up these allegations. Or they may have just been trolling the media. Or Wohl might even have been tricking Burkman on some level.”

What we know so far is that:

  • “On October 17, a bunch of prominent reporters and Twitter personalities got a weird email, supposedly from a woman named “Lorraine,” who claimed that someone working for Jack Burkman had offered to pay her to make accusations of sexual misconduct against Mueller. However, no one has yet been able to verify her identity or that she even exists (and indeed, Burkman now claims that she “doesn’t exist”). The email may well be total bullshit.”
  • In any case, some recipients of this email got “Lorraine” to provide the info of the man who supposedly contacted her. They got in touch with him and were each told they were “in over your head” and to “drop” the matter. One says he then got a phone call from a man who identified himself as working for “Surefire Intelligence.”

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  • “Around this time, Jack Burkman said on social media that he was trying to get women with allegations about Mueller to come forward. Jacob Wohl, meanwhile, claimed on Twitter to have heard a rumor that something like this would soon happen.”
  • “On October 22, law professor Jennifer Taub got an email from someone with a Surefire Intelligence account, asking her about her “past encounters with Robert Mueller” and offering to “compensate” her for a phone call. Taub told the Atlantic that she’s never met Mueller, that she didn’t respond to the email, and that she forwarded the email to Mueller’s office.”
  • “Finally, last night, Wohl tweeted: “Several media sources tell me that a scandalous story about Mueller is breaking tomorrow. Should be interesting. Stay tuned!” Various journalists who received the “Lorraine” email then started tweeting about it, and opining that it was shady and unconvincing.”

This was an embarrassingly thin scam

“This caused the whole matter to spill out into public, and internet sleuths began to dig into Surefire Intelligence, the supposed private intelligence company investigating these allegations.”

“Wohl was publicly cagey about his involvement in Surefire or the plot generally. But Burkman freely told Hill Reporter that “Surefire is a real company” run by “Jacob Wohl.” And after journalists and online researchers got to work, it started to look like Surefire was … Jacob Wohl, and only Jacob Wohl.”

“So, it looks like Surefire is essentially Better Call Saul’s Jimmy McGill doing a series of different voices over the phone to convince prosecutors that a whole church congregation supports his client. It is not clear if Burkman, who insisted Surefire was “real,” is also being tricked, or if he is a willing participant in this scam.”

“Nonetheless, on Tuesday afternoon, the far-right conspiracist website Gateway Pundit, for which Wohl writes, posted a heavily redacted document making a rape allegation against Mueller. The name of the document’s author was blacked out, but it used a slogan that was also on the Surefire website. Then, after much Twitter mockery, Gateway Pundit’s Jim Hoft took the document down and said he was “looking into” the “serious allegations against Jacob Wohl.”

“Now, it’s in the FBI’s hands. “When we learned last week of allegations that women were offered money to make false claims about the Special Counsel, we immediately referred the matter to the FBI for investigation,” Mueller’s spokesperson said in a statement Tuesday.”

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If this is just trolling, then it sort of worked

“Wohl may end up being the ultimate loser in this scenario, depending on what the FBI finds. But if the purpose of the scam was as much to troll journalists as to smear Mueller and the investigation, then in a way, he’s already won.”

“Yes, Mueller’s office commented on the allegations and “made news” by saying they’d referred the allegations to the FBI. Still, NBC News, the Atlantic, the Daily BeastBuzzFeed News, the New York Times, and several other media outlets (including, now, Vox) wrote articles about this nonsense — if only to debunk Wohl’s claims. By doing so, they devoted scarce journalistic resources to this topic rather than others, just days before the midterm elections.”

“Burkman still claims that this Thursday he will reveal “the first” of Mueller’s victims at a press conference.”


    • Dear Gary J.

      The Republican Party members are acting desperate as they know that it is very likely that the Democratic Party candidates will win the majority of seats in the US House of Representatives (the lower house). As for the US Senate (upper house), the polls are indicating that Republican Party lawmakers will maintain their majority position.

      Hugs, Gronda

      Liked by 2 people

  1. So much b.s. to interfere with a) the integrity of the press and the reporting of serious news, and b) the integrity of the upcoming elections. I wish we could demand that all these people be hooked up to lie-detector machines and asked the pertinent questions, including Trump himself. It would make it all so simple. Sigh. I’m tired of all the games they are playing!!!


    Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Jill,

      The president and his republican sycophants are acting out of desperation because they know that there will be more oversight over whatever they’re doing when the Democratic Party lawmakers become the majority in the US House of Representatives.

      That desperation has the president lying while the GOP legislators are mum. The House Speaker Paul Ryan was taken to the woodshed for daring to tell President Trump that he can’t do away with the 14th amendment by signing an executive order.

      Hugs, Gronda

      Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Keith,

      President Trump and his cronies know that the FBI’s Special Counsel Robert Mueller will be delivering his report in the not so distant future. It would make their lives a lot easier if he was disgraced to where he could be fired.

      Hugs, Gronda

      Liked by 1 person

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