Unraveling Jacob Wohl’s convoluted plot to smear Robert Mueller

Special counsel asks FBI to investigate scheme to bring abuse allegations against Mueller

Robert Mueller testifies on Capitol Hill in 2010. Alex Wong Getty Images

The office of the special counsel, Robert Mueller, has asked the FBI to investigate what appears to be an effort to smear him, stemming from suspicious emails offering women money in exchange for fabricating sexual misconduct claims against him.

Mueller is leading the politically sensitive investigation into Russian meddling and possible collusion between Republican Donald Trump's 2016 campaign team and Russian officials.

The Hill Reporter website said the scheme surfaced after it and other news outlets were contacted by an anonymous woman saying she had been offered cash to make allegations against Mr Mueller.

That person, according to the account, asks her to establish contact over an encrypted messaging application and then, in exchange for tens of thousands of dollars, to make false but potentially politically damaging misconduct claims against Mueller.

Burkman claimed the first of the women will "unveil a very bad sexual assault" at a news conference Thursday at noon. He is also looking into whether Trump attempted to obstruct the probe. While Burkman was pushing false allegations about the death of DNC staffer Seth Rich, he promised a press conference with a man whom he said had damning information about the murder, but the man did not show up in person. The woman, who had previously worked for Mueller as a paralegal in the 1970s, said she had been approached by a man "with a British accent" making the offer on Burkman's behalf.

NBC News contacted the firm formerly known as Pillsbury, Madison, and Sutro, and found that no one with the name the woman gave had ever worked there, nor did any work there under the maiden name she gave.

They also got a threatening phone call from someone who said he worked at "Surefire Intelligence", a firm that NBC News reports is connected with disgraced hedge fund manager and Gateway Pundit writer Jacob Wohl.

The whole absurd mess began with Wohl claiming on Twitter Monday that "several media sources" had told him that "a scandalous story about Mueller is breaking tomorrow".

According to CNBC, a woman told journalists she had been offered $20,000 by Burkman "to make accusations of sexual misconduct and workplace harassment against Robert Mueller". However, his email is listed in the domain records for Surefire Intelligence's website and calls to a number listed on the Surefire Intelligence website went to a voicemail message which provided another phone number, listed in public records as belonging to Wohl's mother.

According to documents published by the conservative Gateway Pundit blog, the accuser says that Mueller "aggressively" raped her after buying her a drink at the St. Regis Hotel bar in NY in 2010. On Twitter, Wohl denied any attempt to discredit Mueller and said a smear campaign had been launched against him.

Wohl told the Daily Beast that GOP lawyer and lobbyist Jack Burkman told him he had hired Surefire to help investigate Mueller's past, but he didn't know anything about a plot to manufacture allegations.

Bar Refaeli is not working for Surefire Intelligence.

"I like a scandal that involves a Verizon family plan", Kimmel said.

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