Alleged plot to falsely accuse special counsel of sexual misconduct referred to FBI

PHOTO: Special counsel Robert Mueller departs after a meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington, June 21, 2017.PlayJ. Scott Applewhite/AP, FILE
WATCH Allegations of a possible smear campaign against special counsel

An alleged plot to level accusations of sexual misconduct against special counsel Robert Mueller has been referred to federal investigators, a spokesman for the special counsel said Tuesday.

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“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 spokesman for the special counsel, said in a statement.

According to multiple reports, a woman claims to have been offered $20,000 to make false accusations of sexual misconduct and workplace harassment against Robert Mueller. She reportedly contacted several reporters over the past few weeks, representing that she had worked with Mueller at a law firm in the 1970s.

PHOTO: Former FBI Director Robert Mueller at an installation ceremony at FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C., October 28, 2013. Charles Dharapak/AP, FILE
Former FBI Director Robert Mueller at an installation ceremony at FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C., October 28, 2013.

The woman claims the calls she received were from a man who said he represented known right-wing conspiracy peddler Jack Burkman, according to a report in The Atlantic.

“Any allegations that I have paid anyone to come forth are completely untrue,” Burkman told ABC News in an emailed statement.

Burkman has in recent days made claims on social media, without evidence, of damaging information coming soon on Mueller.

Some of the reporters contacted by the woman apparently did not talk to her on the phone but only through e-mail, and there were difficulties confirming her identity.

Nonetheless, in those written communications the woman said she was rarely in contact with Mueller when she worked with him years ago at a law firm and that he was never inappropriate.

ABC News has not been able to independently verify the existence of the woman making these claims.

A second woman - a Vermont law professor - disclosed on Twitter that she received an unsolicited email earlier this month, seeking information about her encounters with Mueller and offering to compensate her for her time. She told MSNBC Tuesday that she found it “really creepy” and that she doesn’t know Mueller at all.

These stories were reportedly peddled to several journalists including investigative reporter Ronan Farrow, who has broken major stories involving high-profile men accused of sexual harassment.

Burkman told ABC News late Tuesday that he believes someone is trying to smear him and that he never paid or offered to pay any woman to make allegations against Mueller.

The FBI declined to comment and referred reporters back to the statement the Office of the Special Counsel.