Ok. I’ve been covering this particular story over at my Patheos column, but let’s bring this one home, here.
So some of you may have been following the attempts to smear special counsel Robert Mueller by a couple of inept MAGA rubes, and I can tell you, there has been no end to the belly laughs I’ve enjoyed from the beginning.
There are insidious plots, and then there is this.
Truly, Jacob Wohl, a disgraced, would-be hedge fund manager, who at only 20 years old was banned from ever working in financial trading by the National Futures Association, after defrauding clients, is not the most reliable “mastermind” for such an ambitious plot.
His partner in this slapstick venture is Jack Burkman, a GOP lobbyist, radio host, and conspiracy theorist, who has previously called press conferences, with promises of “bombshell” reveals, on such matters as the murder of Seth Rich. The end result was a badly bungled affair, with a mystery caller, rather than the actual, promised witness at the event, and absolutely nothing to back up his claims.
The goal of Wohl and Burkman in this particular venture, it appears, was to not only discredit the media and the #MeToo movement (Wohl said his default position was to not believe the woman), but to also create the kind of chaos and ruin around special counsel Robert Mueller that was witnessed during the Brett Kavanaugh nightmare.
Even after the wonders of the internet had easily began to pick apart the claims, connecting Wohl to an entity called Surefire Intelligence, and then revealing that the alleged “international team members” for the organization were really just stock photos of celebrities (including actor Christopher Waltz, listed as “Simon Frink” on his Surefire Intelligence profile), they pushed on, claiming a Thursday press conference, with an actual “victim” was forthcoming.
There was a 45 minutes press conference, alright.
Hang on, while I adjust my shocked face.
> After initially promising that the accuser, a fashion designer named Carolyne Cass, would appear alongside them, Burkman and Wohl seemed to change their minds by the time reporters assembled inside the dimly lit Holiday Inn in Rosslyn, Virginia.
> Cass had “panicked,” they said, after arriving in Washington and quickly took another flight to an unnamed location.
Wohl had earlier posted an image of himself with the alleged “victim,” her face obscured, as proof that she would be there.
But then, an image search turned up that this was an old photo of Wohl and a girlfriend.
But back to the press conference…
There was no accuser, so the pair instead passed out what they said was a signed affidavit from the “victim.”
According to the affidavit, Mueller raped the victim in a New York hotel room on August 2, 2010.
Except Mueller was serving jury duty in Washington on August 2, 2010.
They handed out a second page that was supposedly the exhaustive investigative work done by Surefire Intelligence.
> Cass’ first name is misspelled as “Carolyn,” without an “e” in the affidavit, and Burkman insisted that her name was spelled without an “e” when asked by reporters. Only after repeated pressing did Burkman concede that her name is actually “Carolyne.”
> “Even the Declaration of Independence had misspellings,” Burkman quipped.
> Other allegations the duo had made earlier fell apart as well. Burkman had previously claimed that he had seven women willing to accuse Mueller. Wohl eventually conceded that they did not have seven women with accusations against Mueller.
In fact, the pair contradicted each other, and their own words, quite a bit.
And the absurdities were plentiful, with Burkman introducing Wohl as a “child prodigy” and likening him to Mozart.
Meanwhile, Wohl didn’t bother to tell Burkman that his fly was open for the entire event, as others observed and chuckled.
> Wohl and Burkman were reluctant to explain how Wohl, who claimed he first worked with Cass on an unrelated estate issue, was first in contact with their accuser. They also failed to explain where Mueller’s FBI security detail was when he was supposedly assaulting a woman.
> And Wohl was cryptic about other details, too—he repeatedly declined to say whether he has a private investigator license. Eventually, Wohl said he sometimes works with licensed private investigators. Wohl’s name isn’t in a database of licensed private investigators maintained by the state of California, where he lives.
> The two men even declined to say how they knew each other.
> Burkman said only that their meeting was “synergistic.”
I guess just admitting they’re a couple of grifters was out of the question, right?
Wohl has been pimping this story over at the pro-Trump garbage site, Gateway Pundit, but after the ridiculousness of Thursday’s press conference, even they didn’t want to be connected to such toxic stupidity, any longer. They announced that they’d cut ties with him.
Seriously. When you pimp a story so blatantly bungled and laughable that Gateway Pundit runs from it, that’s saying a lot.
The plot began back in October, with a woman calling herself “Lorraine Parsons” began reaching out to various reporters and outlets, saying that someone working for Burkman had contacted her and offered to pay her for her testimony saying Mueller had sexually assaulted her.
A Vermont Law School professor by the name of Jen Taub claimed on Tuesday that she’d been contacted, as well, and offered money to make accusations against Mueller.
From beginning to end, this was a joke.
From the sketchy “Lorraine Parsons” to the fact that numbers for Surefire Intelligence go back to a voicemail service for Wohl’s mom, it’s cartoonish in execution and delivery.
Somebody suggested that this could be performance art.
Why not? Andy Kaufman did weird things like this, all the time.
What we know for sure is that Mueller isn’t on the same level as these two jokers. He hasn’t wasted a single moment addressing it. He gave it to the FBI to investigate, and the idea of seeing these two brought up on charges pleases me.