DailyMail.co.uk | 21 Jul 2020
- Ghislaine Maxwell hired Jacob Wohl to smear alleged victims of Jeffrey Epstein and her, a former friend told DailyMail.com in an exclusive interview
- As part of a $25k deal, Wohl and his lobbyist colleague Jack Burkman also allegedly pushed to get former New York US Attorney Geoffrey Berman fired
- Wohl and Burkman are far-right lobbyists who have become a laughing stock in DC after several failed attempts to smear top political figures
- Maryland paralegal Kristin Spealman claims she was initially contacted by the duo to use her in a smear campaign against Nancy Pelosi and Ted Cruz
- Spealman told DailyMail.com they bragged to her they had been hired in early June for $25,000 to dig up dirt on Maxwell’s alleged sex trafficking victims
- Federal documents filed this month show a company linked to Maxwell had hired Wohl and Burkman to lobby on ‘issues relating to US DOJ, Senate Judiciary, House Judiciary,’ DailyMail.com can exclusively reveal
- Berman’s removal was intended to stall or stop the criminal investigation into Maxwell, Spealman said
- Berman was ultimately pushed out by Barr in June, but two weeks later Maxwell was charged as part of Epstein’s sex trafficking ring
Ghislaine Maxwell hired fake news purveyor Jacob Wohl to smear her and Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged victims, a former friend has told DailyMail.com in an exclusive interview.
As part of a $25,000 deal made in June, Wohl and his lobbyist colleague Jack Burkman also allegedly pushed to get New York US Attorney Geoffrey Berman, who had led Epstein’s case, fired in order to stall or stop the criminal investigation into Maxwell.
Wohl and Burkman are far-right lobbyists who have become a laughing stock in DC after several failed attempts to smear top political figures including Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Nancy Pelosi, Ted Cruz, Robert Mueller and Dr. Anthony Fauci by paying women to make false claims of sordid affairs and drug-dealing.
One of the women they tried to use for their smear plots, Maryland model and paralegal Kristin Spealman, told DailyMail.com the men had been hired by Maxwell, who currently faces trial over charges she and Epstein trafficked underage girls for sex.
Spealman, 36, said the lobbyists bragged to her they had been hired in early June for $25,000 to dig up dirt on Maxwell’s alleged sex trafficking victims and to get Berman fired using Burkman’s supposed influence with Attorney General William Barr.
Berman ultimately stepped down after a push from Barr. But less than two weeks later, Maxwell was charged on July 2 as being part of Epstein’s sex trafficking ring and taken into custody.
When contacted for comment Wohl told DailyMail.com that Maxwell ‘deserves representation’.
‘Every person, even those accused of the most odious of crimes, deserves representation and possesses the right to engage lobbyists to petition the government on their behalf,’ the 22-year-old said. ‘Otherwise, we cannot comment on client matters.’
Burkman similarly told DailyMail.com: ‘All persons accused of crimes–however terrible–have the right to representation and representation in the court of public opinion.’
DailyMail.com has contacted Maxwell’s lawyers for comment.
Federal documents filed this month show a company linked to Maxwell had hired Wohl and Burkman to lobby on ‘issues relating to US DOJ, Senate Judiciary, House Judiciary,’ DailyMail.com can exclusively reveal.
A form filed with the US Senate by Burkman’s company, J M Burkman & Associates, on July 3 under the Lobbying Disclosure Act shows Wohl and Burkman were hired by Granite Realty LLC. a frequent misspelling of Granite Reality – the company linked to Maxwell.
Maxwell bought the house through Granite Reality LLC, of 155 Seaport Blvd, Boston MA, the address of Nutter McClennen & Fish, a law firm which has previously acted for her. It is the same address on the disclosure form.
The form lists Burkman and Wohl as lobbyists for Granite Realty, described as a ‘real estate company’, and indicates the pair will be lobbying over ‘Issues relating to US DOJ, Senate Judiciary, House Judiciary.’
New York prosecutors say the firm is connected to Maxwell, with the LLC linked to her purchase of a New Hampshire house where she was arrested on July 2 – the day before Burkman’s lobbying disclosure was filed.
New Hampshire property records show Granite
Realty Reality paid $1,070,000 cash in December for the home, aptly named Tuckedaway.
Maxwell used a fake name and the ‘carefully anonymized LLC’, set up just weeks before the purchase, to buy the house while she hid from law enforcement, prosecutors in her New York sex trafficking case said.
Wohl and Burkman told Spealman that Maxwell also used the secretive LLC to hire them as lobbyists around early June, the model claimed.
‘Her company Granite Realty LLC hired them to first get rid of the US attorney Jeffrey Berman,’ the paralegal said.
‘She wanted him fired. And then I guess she assumed the charges would go away or maybe she wouldn’t be prosecuted. I think that was the goal.’
Spealman claimed Burkman bragged to her that he was ‘really good friends’ with Barr and had persuaded him to fire Berman.
On June 19, Barr did release a statement saying Berman would step down – though Trump had reportedly been considering removing the prosecutor for two years.
Berman at first refused to resign, then later capitulated when his deputy was announced as the new acting US attorney for the Southern District of New York.
There is no evidence that Wohl or Burkman had any role in Berman’s firing.
There is also no evidence that Burkman and Barr have a close relationship.
‘The second part of their job was to discredit the [alleged] victims of Jeffrey Epstein and her,’ Spealman said.
‘I believed those girls, I felt like they were telling the truth and they were real victims.
‘I was disgusted with the things [Wohl and Burkman], were telling me. They were saying really bad things about them.
‘Like the one girl who said she got pregnant by Epstein and they made her get an abortion. Jacob said ”no, her boyfriend got her pregnant and then she demanded money.” It was just a lot of stuff that made them look bad.
‘That’s their job now, to discredit these victims. Hopefully so that the charges go away or [Maxwell] wins.’
The lobbyists allegedly told Spealman their smear targets included Epstein accusers Virginia Giuffre, Sarah Ransome and Courtney Wild, the model said.
Spealman claimed Wohl and Burkman revealed their plot with Maxwell during a night of partying at Burkman’s Arlington, Virginia home on July 11.
The part-time model said the two men had already spent months trying to get her involved in other smear campaigns.
Spealman said Burkman first called her last September asking her to be a part of a purported reality TV show that he and Wohl were producing, which involved ‘playing innocent pranks on celebrities and politicians.’
After wining and dining the model at DC hotel bars and restaurants, as well as dangling the prospect of a $300,000 paycheck for her role, the two lobbyists revealed their real plans, she said.
‘At the third meeting they totally switched things,’ Spealman told DailyMail.com. ‘They said they wanted me to say I was selling Percocet to Nancy Pelosi. I was pretty shocked because that’s a big leap from what they had sold me on.
‘I don’t want to have that sort of reputation. I’m a paralegal. I was worried about defamation suits. I was like ”look guys, I can’t do that”.’
The model said the fake news peddlers agreed to change their plans. But at the next meeting in October, Spealman said they presented her with a statement to sign claiming she had ‘steamy sex’ with married senator Ted Cruz.
Spealman claimed Wohl and Burkman asked her to read the bogus statement at a press conference scheduled the next day.
‘I received a text directing me to a lavish fourth-floor suite,’ the statement said. ‘Inside was Senator Cruz, clad only in boxers. After a few old fashioneds, I was a willing participant in a night of steamy sex.
….. .. story continues & details other smear campaigns ….. ..
does the DM lurk? they edited the article (see italic text & line-through in above) after the Granite Realty/Reality issue was mentioned