A masked man allegedly attacked a controversial Republican lobbyist outside his Arlington, Virginia, home on Tuesday evening, and the lobbyist is suggesting that it might have to do with support for an indicted Trump campaign operative.
Arlington police say an unknown man was waiting in a black SUV outside of Jack Burkman’s home at around 7:30 PM on Tuesday. When Burkman arrived, the man—described as a masked white male in a black jacket— “sprayed the victim was a caustic substance before fleeing the scene in the vehicle.”
In a statement on the alleged assault, Burkman’s public relations representatives said the attacker “doused him with a type of pepper spray, causing burns to his face, and struck him in the head. The attacker then sped off.”
Burkman is a controversial figure in the D.C. political scene. He once authored a bill to outlaw gay men from playing in the National Football League, despite not even being a lawmaker. He has taken on other controversial causes of late, including spearheading an effort to unearth a supposed conspiracy surrounding the 2016 murder of Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich. That conspiracy theory, which the Rich family has asked to be put to rest, involves allegations that hacked Democratic National Committee emails were actually leaked by an insider, not supplied by malicious Russian actors, as the U.S. intelligence community has concluded.
More recently, Burkman has tried to assert himself as a champion of Donald Trump’s former beleaguered aides and advisors. He recently hosted fundraiser for the legal defense of Rick Gates, a senior official on Donald Trump’s presidential campaign who was indicted by Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller in October.
It was that fundraiser, Burkman’s public relations team suggested, that might have led to his driveway attack.
“The attack happened just hours after Burkman released a scathing statement about the judge overseeing the prosecution of Rick Gates,” Burkman’s representatives noted. The statement attacked Judge Amy Berman Jackson, who accused Gates of violating her gag order by pre-recording a video message that Burkman aired at a legal defense fundraiser last month.
There is no indication that the incident has anything to do with the Gates fundraiser. The Arlington Police Department told The Daily Beast that the investigation is ongoing. Burkman, meanwhile, is scheduled to hold a press conference at noon on Wednesday to address Tuesday evening’s assault.