The Atlantic is reporting that the FBI is looking into a matter sent to them by the office of special counsel Robert Mueller about an anonymous woman who is alleging she was offered $20,000 to make a false allegation of sexual harassment against Mueller. The woman had initially spoken to at least ten reporters from a variety of news outlets, who were unable to verify her account. In a letter to a reporter, she claimed, a man “offered to pay off all of my credit card debt, plus bring me a check for $20,000 if I would do.” She added, “He knew exactly how much credit card debt I had, right down to the dollar, which sort of freaked me out.”
The woman named GOP operative John Burkman, who also hosts a talk radio show and frequently promotes conspiracy theories, as being part of the operation. Burkman has released a video on Facebook claiming that Mueller “has a whole lifetime history of harassing women,” but thus far has not included evidence.
As The Atlantic notes, the complicated narrative seems to involve a Twitter conspiracy theorist named Jacob Wohl and a company he owns:
The man said he worked for a company named Surefire Intelligence, which describes itself as “a private intel agency that designs and executes bespoke solutions for businesses and individuals who face complex business and litigation challenges.” Surefire’s domain records list an email for another pro-Trump conspiracy theorist, Jacob Wohl, who began hyping a “scandalous” Mueller story on Tuesday morning. Wohl told The Daily Beast that Burkman had hired Surefire to assist with his investigation into Mueller’s past, but denied knowing anything about the firm’s involvement in an alleged plot to fabricate allegations against Mueller when asked why his email address appeared in the domain records. He did not respond when asked by NBC why a number listed on Surefire’s website referred callers to another number that is listed in public records as belonging to Wohl’s mother.
One complicating factor is that Scott Stedman, a journalist investigating the matter, believes the woman claiming she was offered money might not be legit, either: Rather, she might be a hoax-within-a-hoax, designed to discredit reporters.
Stedman’s tweets on this matter are worth considering: