Boebert allegations collapse

“A Democratic super PAC has made multiple false claims about Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert while pushing unproven allegations that the right-wing Colorado congresswoman has had abortions and formerly worked as an escort,” CNN reported on Saturday, June 25, 2022 (see story here).

As this blog reported 10 days ago (here), Boebert threatened legal action against the PAC, and her lawyer called the sensational allegations published by American Muckrakers PAC on its website, and widely disseminated in the liberal blogosphere, “fabricated” and “false.”

Although CNN‘s reporting characterized American Muckrakers as a “Democratic” PAC, or political action committee, in fact the group’s FEC filing (here), which CNN linked to in its article, indicates it’s an independent group not affiliated with the Democratic Party or any candidate.

A spokesman for the group “acknowledged to CNN that the super PAC had been ‘sloppy’ and had published ‘inaccuracies’ on its anti-Boebert website, though he said it remains confident in the ‘main points of the story,'” CNN said, adding, “His comments came after CNN reporting found that the super PAC had made at least five false statements about Boebert, along with a series of uncorroborated assertions … that CNN could neither immediately confirm nor immediately debunk.”

The allegations that David Wheeler, speaking for the group, conceded were untrue are:

  • Boebert is the woman posing on a bed in a photo
  • Boebert initially failed to disclose a campaign contribution from Sen. Ted Cruz
  • Cruz made big early contributions to Boebert’s first primary campaign
  • the date of a Boebert vehicle accident
  • its claim that Boebert had an abortion “in the fall of 2004”

The CNN article debunks these claims in detail. On the latter point, Boebert gave birth to a son not more than 6 months after the supposed abortion, CNN said.

Wheeler blamed these misstatements on sources with “foggy memories” and inadequate vetting. The “main points” he still insists are accurate is that Boebert met escort clients through a “sugar daddy” website. But CNN checked and found that site “has no record of Boebert ever using it.”

Her spokesman said she “has never had a profile on a ‘sugar daddy’ website, never been an escort, never had an abortion, and that other claims from the super PAC are also false.” CNN also noted that American Muckrakers “has not released the corroborating evidence Wheeler says its anonymous sources have,” but Wheeler said they’re willing to testify in court.

The story got attention in part because American Muckrakers helped bring down Rep. Madison Cawthorn, who was defeated in this year’s GOP primary, after a series of genuine scandals. Its case against Cawthorn “was bolstered by videos and other evidence,” CNN noted.

The group was started by the Democratic candidate Cawthorn defeated in 2020 (details here). Wheeler also was a defeated Democratic candidate in 2020 (details here).

Republicans in general are not above using lies and smears to attack political opponents. And Boebert, who can’t even get a pile of bricks straight, isn’t exactly a sympathetic victim. She’s one of the slimiest high-profile Republicans in Congress and the country (see, e.g., article here). But untruths cannot be defended, no matter who utters them, or who they’re uttered against. Facts matter.

If American Muckrakers has as-yet undisclosed evidence of the allegations it’s not backing down from, let’s see it. They don’t have to wait for a court trial to disclose it. Their reputation is on the line in the court of public opinion right now. Unless and until they do, those allegations are unproven, and Boebert is entitled to the benefit of doubt.

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