A second woman has come forward saying she was offered money to talk about “encounters” she’s had with Robert Mueller, in an apparent bid to discredit the U.S. special counsel charged with investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Vermont law professor Jennifer Taub says she received an email from someone asking her to suggest a “beginning rate” for a phone call about her interactions with Mueller.
Taub, who told the Atlantic she referred the email directly to the special counsel’s office, says she has never met Mueller.
The office of the special counsel has asked the FBI to look into the claims.
“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, spokesperson for the Special Counsel’s office, told Global News in an email on Tuesday.
The allegations were first revealed when a woman emailed several journalists earlier this month, saying she had been contacted by a man who offered her around US$20,000 to “make accusations of sexual misconduct and workplace harassment against Robert Mueller,” according to the Atlantic and the Hill Reporter.
The woman said in the email that the man said he worked for Jack Burkman.
Burkman, who runs a right-wing podcast, has posted a video saying a woman will unveil “a very bad sexual assault” accusation against Mueller. Asked about the accusations of a hoax, Burkman told the Atlantic that he didn’t know the woman and that the FBI referral was “a joke.”
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Taub told the Atlantic the email came from an address linked to a company called Surefire Intelligence, which appears to be a fake company created by Twitter personality Jacob Wohl.
Wohl has also posted online about accusations against Mueller.
Mueller’s team is looking into whether U.S. President Donald Trump’s campaign had ties to Russia.
Trump has repeatedly proclaimed his innocence, and calls the investigation a “witch hunt.”
The political climate has reached new temperatures in recent days, in the lead up to the midterm elections on Nov. 6.