The Gateway Pundit moved to suspend its relationship with Jacob Wohl on Thursday after the right-wing writer took part in a lengthy spectacle aimed to discredit special counsel Robert Mueller with an unfounded #MeToo accusation.
Website chief Jim Hoft buried the announcement in a post updating his readers on the scandal and seemingly conceding that his website had been had.
“On Thursday, the Gateway Pundit suspended our relationship with Jacob,” wrote Hoft. “We need to collect more information on this explosive situation. We are not afraid to take chances as you well know but we want to also be careful and accurate.”
After once promoting the story as a major scoop, Hoft said he had edited the website’s original report to reflect new uncertainty in the case.
“After investigating the initial reports out earlier this week we edited our original report and then removed the original article(s) pending investigation,” he said.
Hoft later made a statement to TheWrap, saying: “We have not been contacted by the FBI. Jacob is a very bright young man. We also have questions and are investigating.”
On Thursday, Wohl, along with lobbyist Jack Burkman, held a press conference detailing the allegation — even after a woman the pair said was ready to publicly accuse Mueller dropped out at the last minute.
“We went through every meticulous detail of her allegation, we cross-referenced it with public records, we joined historical societies to get some of those records,” said Wohl insisting on the legitimacy of the claim. “She is a gal who has an illustrious background and she is not politically oriented.”
Much of the conference, however, was dedicated to rebutting reporting earlier this week that Burkman and Wohl had conspired to pay a woman $20,000 in exchange for the allegations as part of a scheme to discredit the special counsel findings in its investigation of collusion between the Trump presidential campaign and Russia.
“The allegations of paying a woman are false,” said Burkman in an earlier tweet in advance of Thursday’s presser. “The left is trying to defend Mueller against sex assault allegations so they attack me in desperation. The establishment media knows that Mueller may go down over this — they want to deflect attention.”
The allegations of paying a woman are false. The left is trying to defend Mueller against sex assault allegations so they attack me in desperation. The establishment media knows that Mueller may go down over this–they want to deflect attention.
— Jack Burkman (@Jack_Burkman) October 30, 2018
The plot was broadly uncovered after the office of the special counsel referred the matter to the FBI — and alerted the media.
“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 spokesperson for Mueller’s office told TheWrap earlier this week.
The FBI declined to comment.