On Monday, an investigation by The Daily Beast revealed evidence that a mysterious sexual assault allegation against South Bend mayor and Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg may have been staged by far-right activists Jacob Wohl and Jack Burkman.
Earlier that day, a Medium post went up from a man named “Hunter Kelly,” who claimed that Buttigieg sexually assaulted him but was vague on details. It was picked up by far-right sites like Gateway Pundit and Big League Politics but was swiftly taken down. When The Daily Beast tracked down Kelly, a Trump supporter, he denied that he was sexually assaulted: “I went to bed and woke up to a fake Twitter @RealHunterKelly and an article that I in no way endorsed or wrote. I have since left and am working on a formal statement to give to everyone including the Buttigieg family.”
Another Trump supporter told The Daily Beast that Wohl and Burkman approached him a week ago, using false names, to pitch a similar scheme. Audio recordings corroborate his story.
Wohl, a notorious Trump troll who was recently banned from Twitter after boasting in an interview about how he used fake accounts to manipulate people, previously attempted to recruit a woman to make rape allegations against special counsel Robert Mueller. He invented a fake private intelligence company called “Surefire Intelligence” to try to make this scheme look legitimate, and the whole episode culminated in Wohl and Burkman holding a press conference, only for Mueller’s “accuser” never to show up.