Jacob Wohl and Jack Burkman have a record of orchestrating fake sexual assault stories against President Donald Trump’s enemies. The issue is that they seem to bungle every plan, resulting in a begrudgingly comical mess. After trying to frame Elizabeth Warren and Robert Mueller unsuccessfully, they set their sights on a new target: Dr. Anthony Fauci of the White House Coronavirus Task Force.
Journalist Nancy Rommelmann of Reason had been reached by email by the alleged assault victim, Diana Andrade. Ten days earlier, Rommelmann had been on a call with Andrade, Wohl, and Burkman (the latter two posing as Andrade’s lawyers), where they detailed a laughably intense scenario between Andrade and Fauci. They alleged that when Andrade was 20 years old -- in 2014 -- Fauci had sexually assaulted her. The story was full of glaring inaccuracies. No network picked up the story, and it was debunked.
On Saturday, Andrade followed up with Rommelmann by sending an email titled "Exposing Jacob Wohl and Jack Burkman."
In the thread that followed, Andrade exposed how she had found herself entangled in a fake sexual assault:
"Hi Nancy, I hope you are having a nice weekend. I feel very bad about lying to you and others about Dr. Fauci. I took it upon myself to call Jacob Wohl and Jack Burkman and record them (see attached)… Many thanks and again, I feel very bad about all this. I apologize to you, the other reporters and Dr. Fauci."
Andrade had attached a photo of herself sitting in Wohl’s lap when they were romantically involved. She had confessed to being paid a five-figure sum in cash to go along with the plot. She also warned Rommelmann that the duo was trying to recruit another girl to accuse Fauci. Rommelmann confirmed this, as she had received a press release about a Karen Draper, a former “assistant” of Fauci, accusing the doctor the day before Andrade’s email.
"They are interested in one thing: power," Andrade writes. Sure, but how could such buffoonery be perceived as power? Were they so desperate to catch Trump's eye they would pounce on anyone garnering public adulation, something the president was temperamentally unable to abide? And was there any upside to the rest of us knowing what animates a couple of amateur dirty tricksters, wannabe Roger Stones minus the charisma and connections?
Rommelmann writes, stricken by the blind audacity of the two. Audio had been attached to Andrade's email. A nine-minute and 35-second phone call reveals all. On the call, Andrade expresses paranoia of their plot and sounds unsure of her actions. Burkman was not sympathetic:
"Let me tell you something, Diana," says Burkman. "This guy shut the country down. He put 40 million people out of work. In a situation like that, you have to make up whatever you have to make up to stop that train and that's the way life works, OK? That's the way it goes."
When Andrade expressed that she thought they weren’t taking the virus seriously, Burkman lets his inner Nazi show:
"Mother Nature has to clean the barn every so often," Burkman counters. "How real is it? Who knows? So what if 1 percent of the population goes? So what if you lose 400,000 people? Two hundred thousand were elderly, the other 200,000 are the bottom of society. You got to clean out the barn. If it's real, it's a positive thing, for God's sake."
"So, what? Survival of the fittest?" Andrade asks, a bit more pique in her voice. (The sense you are dealing with people who have an enthusiasm for eugenics can do that.) But Wohl's not having it.
"Diana, look, can you just do this for me?" he says. "Can you just keep your mouth shut and just…just do it for me."
How these two have not gotten in legal trouble yet is anyone's guess.