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Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his team have asked the FBI to investigate a scheme that was offering payouts to women who agreed to accuse Mueller of sexual misconduct and workplace harassment, The Atlantic reports.

Context: Journalists alerted the office of the Special Counsel of the scheme when a woman told them a GOP lobbyist named Jack Burkman had offered her about $20,000 and enough to payoff her credit card debt if she accused Mueller. Some of the woman's story has gone uncorroborated, per The Atlantic. Burkman has gotten involved in conspiracy theories before — he previously began his own private investigation into the murder of the Democratic National Committee staffer, Seth Rich.

What's next: Burkman posted a video on his Facebook page Tuesday claiming without evidence that Mueller has a history of harassing women. He tweeted a similar allegation and says he will reveal "Mueller's sex assault victims" in an announcement this Thursday.

Go deeper

Updated 21 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Harris breaks tie as Senate proceeds with lengthy debate on COVID relief bill

Photo: Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

The Senate on Thursday voted 51-50 — with Vice President Kamala Harris breaking the tie — to proceed to debate on President Biden's $1.9 trillion coronavirus rescue package, likely setting up a final vote this weekend.

The state of play: Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) forced Senate clerks to read the entire 628-page bill on the floor, which took nearly 11 hours and lasted until 2:05 a.m. Friday. The Senate then adjourned and is expected to reconvene at 9 a.m. to debate the bill before considering amendments.

1 hour ago - Health

Cuomo advisers reportedly altered July COVID-19 nursing homes report

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Photo: Seth Wenig/AFP via Getty Images

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's advisers successfully pushed state health officials to exclude certain data on the number of COVID-19 nursing home deaths from a July report, the Wall Street Journal reported late Thursday.

Why it matters: The changes resulted in a "significant undercount of the death toll attributed to the state’s most vulnerable population," the WSJ wrote.

Ro Khanna wary of Biden approach on Middle East

Rep. Ro Khanna. Photo: Cody Glenn/Sportsfile for Web Summit via Getty Images

An outspoken progressive Democrat is wary of President Biden’s approach to the Middle East, arguing it’s like “conceding defeat of the aspiration” to win a Nobel Peace Prize.

Why it matters: A number of members of Biden’s own party dislike his Middle East strategy, as his administration signals the region is no longer the priority it was for President Obama and his predecessors.