Robert Mueller's office says somebody is offering women money to make false allegations of sexual harassment against him, and it's asking the FBI to investigate. The tale is a convoluted one, and it involves one of Mueller's most vocal critics on the right, a self-identified lobbyist named Jack Burkman, reports CNBC. Multiple journalists told Mueller's office that they had been approached by a woman who said Burkman offered her about $20,000 “to make accusations of sexual misconduct and workplace harassment against Robert Mueller," according to her email to them, obtained by the Atlantic. 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.
Burkman, for his part, denies knowing the woman who sent the email to journalists. However, in a tweet, he promised to reveal the name of a woman Thursday who is a sex-assault victim of Mueller. A spokesman for Mueller says the claims are false. "It's just a stupid hoax," tweeted journalist Jane Mayer of the New Yorker, who worked on the Brett Kavanaugh and Eric Schneiderman stories with Ronan Farrow. Burkman is no stranger to conspiracy theories: The Hill notes that he conducted his own investigation into the death of Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich, only to have Rich's parents distance themselves from him, and the Washington Times reported that he offered $25,000 earlier this year to anyone who could prove criminal wrongdoing related to Mueller's inquiry. (Burkman also once sought to ban gay players from the NFL.)