By Steve Neavling
Special counsel Robert Mueller is asking the FBI to investigate a scheme in which women were allegedly offered money to accuse him of sexual assault.
If true, it’s an ugly exploitation of the #MeToo movement and threatens to undermine legitimate claims of sexual harassment and assault.
Journalists uncovered the alleged hoax when they began receiving telephone call from someone making the offer, The USA Today reports.
“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,” Mueller spokesman Peter Carr said.
Mueller has been the subject of constant criticism from President Trump, who claims the special counsel is conducting a “witch hunt” by investigating Trump’s campaign and whether it colluded with Russia to undermine the 2016 presidential election.
A correspondent from HillReporter.com wrote about the offer, saying a man proposed to pay off her credit card debt and issuing a $20,000 check. The caller asked the reporter to use an encrypted communications application to receive more information about the proposal.
“Reluctantly, I downloaded the app and he called me on that app a few minutes later,” the person said in the email to the reporter. “He said (and I will never forget exactly what it was) ‘I want you to make accusations of sexual misconduct and workplace harassment against Robert Mueller, and I want you to sign a sworn affidavit to that effect.’”