It’s been a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad 2019 for right-wing provocateur and super-troll Jacob Wohl. The guy best known for applauding Donald Trump’s more outrageous tweets literally talked himself into a ban from Twitter. He’s a federal criminal investigation for falsely smearing Robert Mueller as a sexual predator, as well as a state investigation in Minnesota for filing a false police report. What’s more, many of his charades are well documented, meaning that any effort to defend him in court will be a very hard battle
Now it’s likely his cause became even more of an uphill battle with news that he tried to falsely smear South Bend mayor and Democratic presidential hopeful Pete Buttigeg as a sexual predator. Just how far uphill became clearer on Wednesday. Wohl and his comrade-in-arms, Jack Burkman, held a press conference at which they were supposedly due to offer the extraordinary evidence to support their extraordinary claim that Mayor Pete really was guilty of sexual assault. It didn’t go well.
Outside Burkman’s home in Northern Virginia, Wohl tried to analyze some grainy footage of Hunter Kelly, whom he and Burkman recruited for their scheme to frame Buttigeg–a classic gay-shaming trope. In case you missed it, Kelly traveled to Virginia after Wohl invited him to take part in a “political operation.” In the wee hours of April 29, Wohl showed him a draft of a post in which Kelly accused Buttigeg of sexually assaulting him.
Kelly later said that despite his misgivings, Wohl and Burkman went live with the accusation anyway, and even created a fake Twitter account under his name. After returning to his home in Michigan, Kelly took to Facebook and accused Wohl and Burkman of rooking him into a setup. This tracks very closely with how Wohl rooked an innocent woman into accusing Mueller of assaulting her.
When Kelly learned that Wohl and Burkman were about to try to defend themselves, he told Will Sommer of The Daily Beast that he knew it would be a dumpster fire.
He was right. Wohl and Burkman’s attempt at a defense was mostly drowned out by garbage trucks roaring down the street.
In the few audible moments, Wohl tried to paint Kelly as a willing participant, saying that since he was drinking a caramel frappucino from Starbucks, this could not possibly have been a “forced coercion” situation. They also claimed to have footage of Kelly getting a “very expensive” haircut on their dime. But no such footage was produced.
As it turns out, this press conference was a fail even before it started. On Monday, Burkman claimed to have discovered an Eventbrite page for a planned protest of their press conference. But it turned out that the event’s organizer was using Wohl’s email address–an apparent reprise of the bogus intelligence firm Wohl created to “investigate” Mueller.
Watch The Young Turks discuss this latest own goal by Wohl here.
Cenk Uygur wondered if Wohl was “purposely clowning himself.” He doubted it, believing that Wohl was merely a “serial bungler” with no real strategy of his own. Ana Kasparian thought that this sort of astroturfing was SOP for right-wing provocateurs like Wohl.
Whatever the case, if Wohl has engaged anyone to defend him against the all-but-certain state and federal charges he will face for his stunts, it can safely be assumed that his lawyers were running around screaming. After all, exposed liars never look good in front of juries. And with this many lies now in the public record, anyone wanting to defend him must now see that he or she is on a suicide mission.
Wohl is only 21 years old. And yet, between his ban from the futures industry, his noxious trolling for Trump, and these smear jobs, he’s all but assured that he will likely never get another job at any reputable employer. That, of course, assumes that he gets out of jail while theoretically young enough to still make a living.
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