lobbyist

Jack Burkman — a lobbyist for Republican politicians and causes — has been accused of paying women to discredit Special Counsel Robert Mueller by fabricating sexual misconduct accusations.

While Mueller is likely preparing his final report for the Department of Justice summing up his ongoing investigation into whether or not President Trump’s 2016 campaign colluded with Russian intelligence operatives, and whether or not Trump obstructed of justice, Burkman was accused Tuesday of paying as much as $20,000 for women to publicly come forward with supposed sexual misconduct accusations against Mueller.

Journalist Scott Stedman quote tweeted writer Jacob Wohl of pro-Trump outlet Gateway Pundit (described by NewsGuard as a “far-right political website that publishes false and misleading content”), who hinted that some of these accusations may get published as soon as Wednesday — just six days before the 2018 midterm elections.

“Two weeks ago, I was contacted by a woman who claimed to be a former associate of Mueller who said that she got a phone call from a man working on behalf of a GOP operative who was paying women to come forward and make up sexual assault accusations,” Stedman tweeted. “I got in contact with the man who allegedly was offering the money. He was extremely willing to confirm that he was indeed paying women to tell stories about Mueller.”

“[Jacob] Wohl just told me his info is coming from a GOP lobbyist, which makes me increasingly worried,” he added.

Stedman’s tweets pan out — Burkman tweeted Tuesday that at 12 PM on Thursday, a “client” of his will be the first to publicly accuse the special counsel of sexual assault in a press conference at the Rosslyn Holiday Inn.

According to The Atlantic, Mueller’s office has since referred the lobbyist and his alleged scheme to the FBI for an investigation. Spokesman Peter Carr said that Mueller has apparently known about the alleged scheme since last week. This likely means that the FBI will question the lobbyist and his client about the allegations — under penalty of perjury, as lying to the FBI is a federal crime.

“[The lobbyist] offered to pay off all of my credit card debt, plus bring me a check for $20,000 if I would do one thing,” a woman wrote of the scheme in an email to journalists obtained by The Atlantic. “In more of an effort to get him to go away than anything else, I asked him what in the hell he wanted me to do. He said that we could not talk about it on the phone, and he asked me to download an app on my phone called Signal, which he said was more secure.”

“Reluctantly, I downloaded the app and he called me on that app a few minutes later,” she wrote. “He said (and I will never forget exactly what it was) ‘I want you to make accusations of sexual misconduct and workplace harassment against Robert Mueller, and I want you to sign a sworn affidavit to that effect.’”

Journalists have speculated that since former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort — who was at the controversial Trump Tower meeting with Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, and Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya — has been collaborating with Mueller, he likely has enough evidence to issue more indictments against members of President Trump’s inner circle.

Mueller’s final report will be confidential, though Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein could draft a report of his own for the general public summarizing the Special Counsel’s findings.

 

Tom Cahill is a contributor for Grit Post who covers political and economic news. He lives in Bend, Oregon. Send him an email at tom DOT v DOT cahill AT gmail DOT com.

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