Jeffrey Epstein’s apparent suicide Saturday morning in a Manhattan jail cell has spawned conspiracy theories he was murdered and sent feds scrambling to figure out how the wealthy sex offender could have died in their custody.
Now two attention-hungry men whose collaborations tend to fail spectacularly say they want to crack the case by offering a $100,000 reward for information.
Epstein’s body was discovered around 6:30 a.m. on Saturday at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan, where he was being held while facing federal sex-trafficking charges. While no official cause of death ruling has been made, the New York City medical examiner has said she is confident Epstein killed himself. Meanwhile, the Justice Department is investigating “serious irregularities” at MCC, such as the reported failure of guards to check on Epstein every 30 minutes. (Epstein had been taken off of suicide watch days before his death.)
On Monday, lobbyist Jack Burkman and conservative operative Jacob Wohl—the hapless serial hoaxers behind several earlier failed schemes—announced that they were going to “enter the fray” and investigate Epstein’s death.
“We’re hardly alone in the belief, but we strongly feel that this was a murder,” Burkman said in a press release.
Burkman and Wohl claim that they have a tip from a “girlfriend of a current prison employee” about the death of “the rich pedophile guy,” although they stress that the supposed tip is still being vetted. Given the track record of Wohl and Burkman for actually producing their purported tipsters, though, it’s not clear whether this woman actually exists.
Burkman claims he’ll conduct the investigation through the Profiling Investigative Center, a group he created that’s best known for producing a bizarre, error-filled reenactment of the murder of Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich. In 2018, Burkman was shot in the buttocks by a former supporter angry about the direction of Burkman’s profiling operation.
Burkman and Wohl have become notorious for their failed attempts to concoct sexual assault smears against former Special Counsel Robert Mueller and Democratic candidate Pete Buttigieg. Their scheme against Mueller failed when the alleged victim failed to show at a much-hyped press conference— and later said Wohl and Burkman had pressured her to make it all up. In April, their attempt to manufacture an allegation against Buttigieg, caught on a recording, failed when that accuser said the duo had pressured him to lie.
Burkman and Wohl have previously denied faking the accusations. They did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday evening.
While Wohl and Burkman claim they don’t want to promote “false theories” about Epstein, they are both prolific fakers. Burkman once claimed he was going to produce a witness to prove that Rich, the object of fevered right-wing conspiracy theories, was murdered by the government. Instead, the witness failed to show, and Burkman resorted to just having a press conference with an anonymous man on speaker phone.
Wohl has been caught faking death threats against himself in the past. A phone number that belonged to Wohl was recently used to send violent threats to a woman involved in a dispute among California Republicans, although Wohl denied involvement and said he no longer had access to that phone number.
The Epstein investigation isn’t the first time Wohl and Burkman have positioned themselves as national arbiters of truth. Last week, Wohl and Burkman called for presidential candidates to submit themselves to a vetting process conducted by the two of them.
“No one in either party will run for president without the Burkman/Wohl seal of approval,” Burkman declared.