Boebert taking legal action over ‘outlandish’ claims

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Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) plans to sue a PAC for defamation after it made a series of wild claims about her without evidence — assertions that quickly spread online.

The source of the claims is the American Muckrakers PAC, a group that was also behind the release of a number of salacious videos of Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.) ahead of his May primary defeat.

But while videos released showing Cawthorn were confirmed and verifiable, the PAC’s claims about Boebert are not. Some details have been directly refuted.

“Muckrakers published these outlandish statements knowing they were fabricated but you likely operated under the inaccurate assumption that publishing false statements against a public figure would not create legal liability. This will be a costly miscalculation for Muckrakers, Wheeler and Muckrakers’ donors,” Jonathan Anderson, a lawyer for Boebert, wrote in a Wednesday letter to David Wheeler, the president and co-founder of the PAC. The letter was first reported by Fox News and shared with The Hill.

Boebert told the Washington Examiner that the allegations were “completely false,” “sexist” and “disgusting.”

“This is very damaging, and that is why I’m going after this guy personally and his group with the full force of the law,” Boebert said. “I am not holding back, and I want to make sure that this never happens to anyone else again.”

Wheeler is standing by the core parts of the claims, saying that he trusts his sources. But he also acknowledged problems with the initial report.

“Some of what we put out was sloppy,” Wheeler told The Hill, but said “that does not undermine the credibility or validity” of what his sources have shared with him about Boebert.

Among the claims made by the PAC are that Boebert worked as a paid escort to a wealthy man, and that she had two abortions, one in 2004 or 2005, and one in 2009.

The PAC said it received this information from a “verified source close to this matter,” and provided heavily redacted screenshots of text messages from an unknown source as well as photos of Boebert. No other information was provided to back up the claims.

“Falsely claiming the Congresswoman worked as a prostitute is a disgusting and sexist statement that, as you know, has zero basis in fact,” the letter from Anderson said.

Anderson also said that the timeline of the alleged abortions does not make sense based on the births of her children.

“To be clear, Rep. Boebert was pregnant with her first son in 2004 and 2005 and he was born in 2005, she was pregnant with her third son in 2008 and 2009 and he was born in 2009, and she has never had an abortion,” Anderson said in the letter.

Two of the photos included in the releases are cropped versions of photos posted on Explore Talent, a casting website with social media elements.

Boebert appears to have had an Explore Talent profile, which has since been taken down but is accessible in Wayback Machine archives. The full, uncropped photos have Explore Talent watermarks, and have been previously reproduced elsewhere online.

The third of the photos included by the PAC in its release is not Boebert at all but of Mellissa Carone, a woman who Rudy Guiliani brought to testify at a 2020 election fraud hearing in Michigan. The photo came from Carone’s Explore Talent page, which has also been removed but is viewable in web archives.

The PAC later updated its press release and text message exchange to remove that photo and the dates of the alleged abortions.

Boebert’s lawyer also said that there were false details in a separate release by the PAC related to a crash of an off-road vehicle that injured her then-sister-in-law. The ex-sister-in-law spoke to the PAC in a brief phone conversation about the crash and alleged that Boebert was drinking before the crash.

“We have evidence that this statement was published after your own ‘source’ informed you by text message that this story was ‘Totally made up.’ Further, Congresswoman Boebert doesn’t drink alcohol and no alcohol was involved in the actual vehicle accident,” Anderson said in the letter.

The PAC acknowledged getting the date around the crash incorrect in its release. The crash occurred in 2019, not in 2020 and just months before Boebert’s first primary, as the release initially falsely put it.

But Wheeler defended his organization’s work and criticized Boebert’s letter.

“The letter is so full of holes that I almost look forward to litigation because they have besmirched me and our organization in a way that’s absolutely defensible, every bit of it,” Wheeler said. “Their assertion that we somehow just go out and willy-nilly throw out facts knowing they’re false is — is ludicrous.”

“We don’t want it to [come to that]. Litigation is never fun for anybody, but you know, there are two sides to every litigation,” Wheeler said. “If they think we’re just going to roll over and not get the opportunity to depose Lauren Boebert, they’re nuts.”

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