When we left our quiet, comfortable home in the pre-dawn darkness to drive alone to Washington DC this morning, we did so with the solitary hope the eventual reward would warrant our sacrifice.
Oh, how it did.
Awaiting us hours down I-95 was the promise of a press conference being hosted by our old pal Jacob Wohl and some MAGA DC lawyer that he's pulled into his latest vainglorious venture: becoming a global private eye hellbent on destroying prosecutor Robert Mueller. According to Jacob's pre-sale, he was going to present a victim of sexual assault who would claim that her abuser was none other than Mueller himself. Our boy Jacob was going to show her off to the assembled press at a Holiday Inn in Arlington, VA, thus ending the long investigation into his adopted daddy, President Donald Trump.
We had spent the previous day watching Jacob's whole plan unravel in the most JacobWohlian way possible. The investigation firm that he claimed had contacted him out of the blue turned out to be yet another of his adorable shell companies with a web registration bearing his email and a listed phone number that rang back to his mom's cell. He had also apparently forgotten to update the photo template on the website he fabricated, leaving up bio headshots of famous actors and models, stock photo faces, and of course, his own head. The whole thing was very cute and dumb and totally what we've come to expect from Jacob over the years.
What we didn't expect though, was just how utterly fucking shambolic the whole presser would be once we finally arrived at the Rosslyn Holiday Inn. It took us a while to find the conference room that Jacob and his pal Jack Burkman had reserved from 11am to 2pm but would only use from noon to almost 1. It was in an almost corner of the bizarre building and once found, the defining feature was a litany of water pitchers laid out on a rumpled tablecloth. By 11:30, the room consisted of about 8 people. Wohl and Burkman rolled in around 11:40, and Jacob sat up front, preparing - we assume - for his performance.
Seated three rows behind him, we watched the young maestro prepare. Focusing, ideating, leaning into his destiny as Trump's child savior. At about 11:50, Jacob leaned back dramatically to look over his shoulder at the small room behind him. "Full crowd," he said in a stage whisper to no one in particular. At least 30% of the seats were still empty.
Then the show began. Burkman and Wohl distributed "literature" to the assembled press. A "raw intelligence document" from Surefire Intelligence, LLC and a printed out FBI press release about an event in New York City that Robert Mueller attended in 2010 while heading that agency, placing him in Manhattan at the time of the alleged assault. Before giving the crowd adequate time to read it, Burkman announced the allegations were serious and then yielded the floor to Jacob. The accuser was not coming and was afraid for her life because...the press was invited to a press conference?
At that point, Wohl launched into a narrative of an alleged incident between Mueller and a woman named either Carolyn Cass or Carolyne Cass or Caroline Cass [it 's still a bit foggy] that was full of sordid coloratura and dark sexual abuse. It was also a narrative that departed from - and often conflicted with - the literature that Jacob had just handed out. It was an impressive performance made even moreso by its clear disassociation from whatever reality was being sold in the room. Wohl spun his yarn for about 10 minutes, claiming that the inflated rat likeness of Trump outside the room - yet visible from the windows dominating one side of it - was a sign of the crazy circus that the event had turned into [the even was objectively staid and there was no crowd around the rat other than two local workmen curiously taking pics of it with their phones]. He also seemed to intimate that a mob had bussed in by Antifa forces to disrupt the press conference [the streets of Arlington were almost eerily quiet, and if there was a bussed in mob, they never got off the bus].
Upon opening the floor to questions, Jacob was assailed with nettlesome facts. He had just referred to Surefire Intelligence as "my company" after denying he owned it for the last few days. "I can explain that," he said before proving that he couldn't. There was also the confusing spelling of his client's name. The document provided a surfeit of different spellings and Wohl seemed incapable of agreeing with Burkman [who somehow left the fly of his suit pants unzipped throughout the event] on a correct spelling of her name. There was also the matter of how Jacob became an investigator at all. "I'll clarify that," he said, before not clarifying it at all.
We couldn't help but think how this all could have been prevented if someone had stopped young Jacob from experimenting with trading securities as a boy and then telling him that he was good at it. Back in 2015, it was cute to have a teenage hedge fund manager. After all, regulators would catch him eventually and he would learn his lesson. We even found ourselves a few years ago letting Jacob off the hook for doing something rather venal and dumb because he was a kid. But someone should have stopped him. The whole batshit commedia dell'arte that we witnessed today, and which will only further infect our politics, could have been averted if someone had told 17-year-old Jacob Wohl to actually learn something.
And the ending of the whole crazy presser proved our hypothesis that enablers are truly the curse of Jacob Wohl.
Towards the end, Burkman "joked" that Jacob had an honorary law degree from Harvard. It did not seem like a joke at the time and Burkman's later clarification met with groans from the assembled press. But the moment that really drove home how damaged Jacob Wohl has been by the adults around him came close to the very end when Burkman leaned into the microphone and said with total sincerity that "Jacob is a child prodigy who has eclipsed Mozart."
His fly was still down.