Gateway Pundit writer Jacob Wohl and Republican lobbyist Jack Burkman were exposed trying to promote fake sexual assault allegations against FBI special counsel Robert Mueller, NBC News reported.
About two weeks ago, prominent reporters got an email from a woman claiming that someone tied to Burkman was offering money to make false sexual assault allegations.
After reporters contacted Mueller's office to ask about the claims, Mueller requested that the FBI look into the apparent hoax.
"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," Peter Carr, a Mueller spokesman, told NBC News.
Wohl and Burkman exposed
Reporters began digging into the source of the claims, which were being promoted by Wohl and Burkman online. Wohl tweeted on Oct. 19 that a "prominent DC insider" told him that women were "prepared to make credible allegations" against Mueller.
Tuesday, Burkman announced that he would reveal the first of Mueller's accusers at a Nov. 1 press conference.
One of the women was supposed to say she worked at the law firm Pillsbury, Madison and Sutro in 1974 along with Mueller, and that was when the assault would have taken place.
The law firm told NBC News that there was no record of that woman ever having worked there. Still, Burkman claimed he was investigating sexual misconduct and alcohol allegations.
Burkman responded to media inquiries by telling the Hill Reporter that Jacob Wohl ran Surefire Intelligence, a firm that was supposedly involved in the investigation. Wohl denied any connection to the sexual assault investigation, and to Surefire Intelligence, but the evidence suggested otherwise.
Wohl's email was listed in the domain records for Surefire Intelligence's website, the phone number for the company redirects to Wohl's mother's voicemail, and alleged Surefire employees had fake LinkedIn profiles using headshots of random people pulled from the internet. One alleged employee even looked suspiciously like Wohl himself, under the name "Matthew Cohen."
There were some other tells that Surefire was a fraud company: the company's LLC was just incorporated a few weeks ago, and the address Surefire listed is occupied by a law firm that said it had no connection to Surefire.
Wohl stopped responding to NBC News when they called him out about the phone numbers. Still, Gateway Pundit published alleged "exclusive documents" about the fake sexual assault allegation -- documents which, although partially redacted, contained a slogan tied to Surefire Intelligence.
Additionally, the documents posted on Gateway Pundit indicate that one woman would accuse Mueller of sexual misconduct at a New York City hotel on Aug. 2, 2010. One problem: Mueller was serving jury duty in Washington, D.C. on that day.
UPDATE: Gateway Pundit founder Jim Hoft tweeted that the site has taken down documents it posted related to the fabricated allegations against Mueller, and that it is also looking into the allegations that Pundit writer Jacob Wohl was involved in the scheme.