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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

1 hour ago - Health

CDC panel endorses Pfizer vaccine for 12- to 15-year-olds

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

An advisory panel for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday endorsed the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for 12-to 15-year-olds, following the FDA's emergency use authorization.

Why it matters: Approval from the CDC panel was the final step needed before inoculations could be offered at any vaccination site for this age group.

  • Pfizer has said its vaccine is 100% effective at protecting against COVID-19 in a trial of more than 2,200 children between the ages of 12 and 15.

GOP lawmakers downplay Capitol riot at House hearing

Photo: Jon Cherry via Getty Images

Republican members of Congress sought to minimize the Capitol insurrection at a House hearing on Wednesday, with statements calling pro-Trump rioters "patriots" and other lawmakers falsely denying demonstrators were supporters of the former president at all.

Driving the news: The hearing comes shortly after House Republicans voted to oust Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) from leadership over her criticism of former President Trump's actions leading up to and on Jan. 6.

McConnell, McCarthy say 2017 tax law is "red line" in infrastructure talks

The top Republicans in the House and Senate told reporters after meeting with President Biden at the White House that "there is a bipartisan desire to get an outcome" on an infrastructure package, but stressed that revisiting the 2017 tax cuts is a "red line."

Why it matters: Wednesday marked the first time that Biden has hosted Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) at the White House.