Bogus Intel Firm In Bizarre Mueller Hit Job Tied To Pro-Trump Twitter Personality

It’s unclear what, if anything, will come out of an FBI referral by special counsel Robert Mueller concerning bizarre payoff allegations about a smear campaign against him.

But there already has been some collateral damage: the public implosion of a bogus private intel shop that appears to have been set up by one of President Trump’s biggest cheerleaders on Twitter.

At first, Jacob Wohl — a young, Trump-loving former hedge funder who got in trouble with regulators before turning to a life tweeting about hipster coffee shops — appeared to only be tangentially linked to the speculation swirling around those apparently seeking dirt on Mueller.

Wohl on Monday evening tweeted a “scandalous story” he heard from “media sources” about Mueller that was “breaking” Tuesday. This led reporters to publicly hint about the mysterious account — floated via emails to media outlets including TPM in recent days — of alleged payoffs being offered to women in exchange for their accusations against Mueller.

However, as lobbyist Jack Burkman, who was alleged in the bizarre account to be behind the payoffs, started promising that he would soon be revealing a Mueller accuser, scrutiny of Wohl’s role in the whole matter grew, particularly when more reporters who had been sniffing around on the allegations went public with the strange details that they had turned up.

The key link appears to be a company called Surefire Intelligence, which describes itself as a “private intel agency that designs and executes bespoke solutions for businesses and individuals who face complex business and litigation challenges.” Wohl told the Daily Beast that “Matthew Cohen,” listed on LinkedIn as a partner at the firm, had been hired by Burkman to help investigate Mueller.

Surefire Intelligence also came up in the digging done by lefty Twitter activist Ed Krassenstein for his site Krassenstein said that, while poking around on the person claiming to have been offered the payoff, he got a threatening call from a “Mike Wilcox” of the company “Surefire Intelligence.”

Wohl, in comments to NBC News, denied being involved in the firm, and in any investigations into Mueller more broadly. However, his email address is listed in Surefire Intelligence’s domain name records and a phone number on its website redirects callers to another phone number listed in public records as belonging to Wohl’s mom, according to NBC News.

Wohl stopped responded to NBC’s inquiries when the outlet pointed out that his mother’s number was offered on Surefire Intelligence’s answering machine.

Then, there are the other people listed as employees of the firm on LinkedIn. A reverse image search of the individuals’ LinkedIn profiles reveals that their profile pictures were poached from photos of models, famous actors and stock photo images.

There’s also the identity of “Matthew Cohen” himself. He’s listed on LinkedIn as a managing partner and he is whom Wohl said had been hired by Burkman to help with his investigations into Mueller, according to the Daily Beast.

Like Surefire Intelligence itself, “Cohen” has a limited online presence. He is listed as an author of a Medium post on Surefire Intelligence’s behalf. He was also quoted in another, now-suspended Medium post claiming to be about Surefire Intelligence and its clientele.

The author of that post it appears also used as his author image a photo taken from a model.

Not surprisingly, there are now also questions about the origin of the photo listed on “Matthew Cohen’s” profile.

Confused yet?


Latest Muckraker
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: