Rep. Lauren Boebert wants to sue American Muckrakers. They say they're prepared to fight back

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Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, June 8, 2022. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, June 8, 2022. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Despite a damning letter from Rep. Lauren Boebert’s legal team denying all of the accusations against her, David Wheeler, the president of American Muckrakers, said his organization is fully prepared to defend their claims in court.

“If she really wants a civil lawsuit against us for defamation, bring it, because we haven't told anything that we did not believe to be true,” Wheeler said, adding that they would like to depose everybody involved, including Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Boebert’s family members.

“We will get to the bottom of whether we're lying or she's trying to lawyer us to death.”

Boebert’s lawyer, Jonathan Anderson, asserted in a letter addressed to Wheeler on Wednesday that most of the statements were “false and defamatory.”

More: Rep. Boebert denies 'disgusting' allegations she had abortions, worked as escort

Boebert response to American Muckrakers by Eric Larsen on Scribd

“Muckrakers’ sloppy, reckless, and wildly irresponsible actions have created substantial legal liability for Muckrakers, David Wheeler in his personal capacity, and each donor to the organization who chose to fund the effort knowing it would result in defamation,” Anderson wrote.

Most of the group’s most recent report alleging Boebert had two abortions and worked as an escort came from a redacted source who Wheeler said is “absolutely afraid for her life” but standing by her assertions.

Some facts in American Muckrakers’ initial reports were later found to be inaccurate — for example, an off-road vehicle accident happened in 2019, not 2020, as initially reported. Wheeler said the base allegations still stand and that his group will issue corrections if other inaccuracies are found.

The group did not publish any clear evidence besides heavily redacted messages and uncontextualized photos, but Wheeler said that the group has more evidence they are planning to release next week.

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Directly quoting material from American Muckrakers, Anderson denied most of the allegations, including that Boebert (R-Silt) had two abortions.

“This is another patently false statement and it is unbelievable that any group would recklessly push on a woman … she has never had an abortion,” Anderson wrote.

The attachments in Muckrakers' release include heavily redacted direct messages exchanged with an anonymous tipster, which Anderson also addressed in his letter. He said allegations that Boebert was a stripper and that she and her husband had a “meth drug problem” are “patently false.”

The letter does not directly address all of the allegations in the report.

Anderson said that the photos in the report “were not photos of Lauren Boebert,” citing a story from Big League Politics, a right-wing online news site, that says that one of the photos used in the report is of another woman, Mellissa Carone.

American Muckrakers revised their report and deleted that photo after questions surfaced.

But the organization, Wheeler said, stands by the validity of two of the photos alleged to be used on SugarDaddyMeet.com, both featuring a woman posing in a leopard-print bra. This set of photos was not directly disputed in Anderson’s letter, and a report from the Washington Examiner, another conservative media site, says Boebert used those photos in 2011 on a modeling site called Explore Talent.

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American Muckrakers alleged that Boebert met Cruz in Aspen through a Koch family member who hired her as an escort on SugarDaddyMeet.com. Boebert’s lawyer denied that she had done any sex work — “falsely claiming the Congresswoman worked as a prostitute is a disgusting and sexist statement that, as you know, has zero basis in fact,” he said — but did not mention Cruz.

Boebert’s staff told The Chieftain that Boebert first met Cruz in 2020 after she won her primary. The Texas senator started a political action committee called the “Cruz 20 for 20 Victory Fund” to support conservative candidates and donated $136,250 to Boebert’s campaign in September 2020.

The Federal Election Commission alerted Boebert’s campaign after the election in November 2020 that they did not properly file the donations from Cruz’s political action committee.

American Muckrakers’ report also claimed that Boebert “still owes her employees backpay and threatens them if they protest,” which Boebert’s staff said is not true.

Boebert’s lawyer is affiliated with Maven Law Group, a Denver firm that has been the recipient of over $84,000 from Boebert’s campaign.

Boebert’s congressional staff deferred a question about whether campaign funds would be used to pay for legal expenses and did not respond prior to The Chieftain's publication time.

Maven lawyers also represented a group of people attempting to remove Boebert’s primary challenger from the race, state Sen. Don Coram of Montrose. The legal challenge failed in court.

American Muckrakers is based in North Carolina and first targeted Rep. Madison Cawthorn. They were behind the release of an explicit video featuring Cawthorn unclothed.

Wheeler said the group got involved with targeting Boebert (R-Silt) after a group of people contacted him after Cawthorn lost the primary election on May 17.

“We evaluated the race. There's a lot of similarities between her and Cawthorn in that they're hyper focused on their looks and money, and they say outrageous things that aren't true,” Wheeler said. “They're both highly involved in (January) 6th," he alleged, "so we didn't really need a lot of other reasons to do it.”

Anna Lynn Winfrey can be reached by email at awinfrey@gannett.com or on Twitter @annalynnfrey. 

This article originally appeared on The Pueblo Chieftain: Lauren Boebert wants to sue American Muckrakers after allegations