One of Donald Trump’s biggest fans is in seriously hot water after an alleged attempt to smear the man heading the Special Counsel’s Russia investigation fell apart in dramatic – and embarrassing – fashion.
A story did then run, on a conservative-leaning website called Gateway Pundit (more about this later).
But Who Are These Accusers?
Several media outlets, including HuffPost, received emails earlier this month from a woman claiming she was offered money to spread fake accusations about Mueller.
But in a bizarre twist there is no evidence she exists – HuffPost conducted a public records search to locate the woman, but could not definitively tie her to a known person.
Then on 22 October, a law professor called Jennifer Taub received an email from someone claiming they also worked for Surefire Intelligence.
This person said they would “compensate” her for her information on her “past encounters with Robert Mueller” – despite the fact she’s never met him.
Taub didn’t respond and referred the email to the Special Counsel’s office.
This series of mysterious events triggered a rush to discover the just who was behind Surefire Intelligence and all the evidence points towards... Jacob Wohl.
And the entire company appears to have been created around three weeks ago with the sole aim of giving the accusations against Mueller an (incredibly thin) veneer of credibility.
What’s more, it was an especially shoddy attempt:
- one of the emails associated with the domain registration for the company is email@example.com
- the company’s official phone number goes to Wohl’s mother’s voicemail
- the company’s official address is actually the address of law firm that has never heard of them
- the company’s staff profiles are all made up people using stock imagery and pictures of well-known models and actors
Wohl has denied having anything to do with Surefire Intelligence.
These latest revelations prompted Gateway Pundit to retract its article detailing the claims about Mueller. Instead the page now reads:
“We took the documents down and we are currently investigating these accusations.
“There are also very serious allegations against Jacob Wohl.
“We are also looking into this.”
To top it all off, Mueller’s office has referred the apparent scheme to the FBI. And to show how seriously they’re taking the matter, the office notorious for not giving statements, released a statement:
“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.”