Meet Jacob Wohl, the 20-year-old who reportedly tried to take down the Mueller investigation — and failed spectacularly

Jacob Wohl/InstagramJacob Wohl is a prolific tweeter reportedly embroiled in a plot to take down Robert Mueller with false sexual misconduct accusations.
  • Jacob Wohl is a 20-year-old conservative conspiracy theorist famous for his pro-Trump Twitter personality.
  • He gained notoriety for running a hedge fund using money raised from people in his high school. That ended when he was banned from securities trading.
  • On Tuesday, the special counsel Robert Mueller’s office released a statement saying they had learned of plans to pay off women to fabricate sexual misconduct accusations against Mueller. Wohl appears to be linked to the plans.

Jacob Wohl is an accomplished young man.

Only 20, he’s already been sanctioned by the Arizona Corporation Commission, investigated by the Securities and Exchange Commission, and may soon be the subject of an FBI investigation.

He’s also one of President Donald Trump’s biggest supporters.

On Tuesday, Wohl dominated the news when the special counsel Robert Mueller’s office released a statement saying they had learned of plans to pay off women to fabricate sexual misconduct accusations against Mueller. Wohl appears to be linked to the plans, which are being investigated by the FBI.

But who exactly is Wohl? Where did he come from? And how did he get involved in presidential punditry and political dirty tricks?

Jacob Wohl became famous on Twitter for constantly tweeting at President Donald Trump

If you ever click through one of Trump’s tweets and look at the replies, there’s a good chance you’ll find Wohl.

He first made his name on Twitter, in the early days of Trump’s presidency, by replying to almost every one of Trump’s tweets and touting his unflagging support.

Through his replies to Trump, Wohl’s own tweets frequently went viral, and he ultimately built his own following, which now hovers around 179,000. It didn’t hurt that Trump sometimes retweeted Wohl’s praise.

Wohl built his Twitter presence into a larger media career. He’s been on Fox Business news and has written for The Gateway Pundit, a far-right propaganda site that frequently publishes hoaxes and conspiracy theories.

He also started his own publication, Offended America, which was later renamed The Washington Reporter. It’s most famous for plagiarizing its code of ethics from the investigative journalism publication ProPublica. Wohl also has a YouTube channel where he espouses conspiracy theories, such as the claim that people in the movie industry are covering up a massive pedophilia ring.

Before all that, Wohl was implicated in financial fraud

Wohl wasn’t always famous for being a Trump supporter. When he was a student at Santiago High School in Corona, California, he ran a money-management group called Wohl Capital Investment Group. He told Bloomberg that he took investments from fellow students, teachers, and the school principal – and ultimately raised about $US500,000 from people around the country. He called himself the “Wohl of Wall Street.”

It didn’t work out. One client, David Diedrich, said Wohl told him his $US75,000 investment had increased to more than $US89,000. But when he asked for the funds, Wohl sent him a check for just $US44,000, according to Bloomberg.

Jacob wohl smokingJacob Wohl/InstagramWohl has a habit of sharing pictures of himself smoking a cigar while wearing gardening gloves.

Diedrich filed a complaint with the National Futures Association, which regulates derivatives trading. Other investors filed complaints to the Arizona Corporation Commission, saying Wohl misrepresented the scope and operations of his funds. In some promotional materials, for example, Wohl said he had nine years of trading experience, which meant he would have been working in financial markets since he was 8 years old.

In 2017, The National Futures Association banned Wohl from membership for life. A few months later, the Arizona Corporation Committee ordered him and a business partner, Matthew Johnson, to pay a $US5,000 penalty for committing securities fraud “in connection with two hedge funds and a house-flipping venture.” The committee also ordered Wohl to pay $US32,918 in restitution.

Jacob wohl businessJacob Wohl/InstagramHe views himself as a businessman.

“Montgomery Assets, Inc., an entity controlled by Wohl and Johnson, posted advertisements on Craigslist in connection with a promissory note offering to fund a house-flipping venture, making several misrepresentations regarding company size, the experience of the employees and risk associated with the investment,”the committee said in a statement. “The Commission found that Wohl, Johnson, and their affiliated companies were not licensed to provide investment advice or registered to offer and sell securities in Arizona.”

The Securities and Exchange Commission also investigated Wohl’s businesses, according to Bloomberg. But it ultimately decided not to take any enforcement action, according to a document from July 2017 that Wohl provided to the financial news site Benzinga.

Wohl is also known for tweets in which he claims to overhear liberals quietly supporting Trump

In one famous genre of Wohl tweets, he purports to be at a local “hipster coffee shop” overhearing people on the political left conspire to support Republicans. He’s tweeted variations on this same idea several times over.

Where is this coffee shop? Are all these tweets about the same one? Wohl didn’t immediately respond to INSIDER’s requests for comment.

It’s possible that Wohl doesn’t take his own tweets seriously. He tweeted a link to a Daily Dot article making fun of him for the trope in July.

Wohl is currently embroiled in a scandal over possibly creating false sexual misconduct claims against special counsel Robert Mueller

This week, reports emerged on what’s said to be a plot to take down Mueller. Wohl appears to be involved.

Records show that Wohl appears to run the company Surefire Intelligence. Along with the right-wing lobbyist Jack Burkman, Surefire Intelligence offered women at least $US20,000 each to falsely accuse Mueller of sexual misconduct,according to NBC News and The Atlantic. Despite the fact that Surefire’s phone number is registered to Wohl’s mother, Wohl initially denied any connection to Surefire Intelligence.

In a video posted to YouTube on Thursday morning, Wohl confirmed he ran Surefire Intelligence.

On Tuesday, Wohl published documents on The Gateway Pundit that purport to prove the accusations. But Jim Hoft, the conspiracy theorist who runs the site, retracted the article and said he’d address the accusations against Wohl on Thursday.

Mueller referred the case to the FBI for investigation, and legal experts told Business Insider that Wohl could face charges that include obstruction of justice, witness tampering, and false statements.

Meanwhile, Wohl continues to push the baseless theory that Mueller sexually harassed women. Like Trump and other right-wing media figures, he views the special counsel investigation into Russian election interference as illegitimate.

If the FBI launches an investigation into Wohl, he wouldn’t have to look far for a lawyer. In addition to being a Trump surrogate himself, David Wohl, Jacob Wohl’s father, is a criminal defence attorney.

This post has been updated.

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