[Guest Post by Lee Stranahan]
The Smoking Gun put up a piece this morning about PatriotUSA76, the mysterious Twitter persona at the center of the @RepWeiner scandal. As I wrote yesterday, one of the reasons I’m very skeptical of ‘Dan Wolfe’ is that he’s refused to speak on the phone with….well, anyone. I’ve talked to 3 people who wanted to have phone conversations with ‘Wolfe’ and he declined. This has led to my speculation could, in fact, be a woman.
There could be other perfectly logical reasons for not wanting to talk on the phone, of course. Here’s what Wolfe said…
Wolfe then went on to state that his ex-wife was suing him for custody of their two children and “for lots of other stuff right now. Her attorneys are after everything I own.” Additionally, he reported that, “I have an ex girlfriend who has mental problems causing issues for me at work. My business is suffering as a result.”
Explaining his hesitation to speak on the telephone,Wolfe wrote that his ex-wife (working in conjunction with a former girlfriend of his) had twice secretly recorded him and that the resulting tapes had “gotten me in a lot of legal trouble.” As a result, he contended that if his ex-wife’s attorney “got a hold of a call recorded with me on it they’d have a field day with that. I want to try to avoid.”
That makes no sense. None.
First off, how would a phone call with Breitbart get recorded by his ex-wife and crazy ex-girlfriend?
Second, how would this be used against someone in a custody battle? I mean – Andrew Breitbart isn’t THAT controversial.
Third, Wolfe had zero reticence to say a lot of potentially offensive stuff on his Twitter feed – and that could used in a custody fight as well.
This is another point against Wolfe’s credibility as far as I’m concerned.
– Lee Stranahan
UPDATE BY PATTERICO: I don’t think that, in the usual instance, a mere reluctance to talk to people is at all strange for someone who has broken a national story that harms a powerful politician’s career. However, I think Lee’s theory makes more sense if you understand certain points, some of which you know and some of which you may not. The key thing to understand is that nobody is trying to exonerate Weiner — in fact, if Lee’s theory is true, Weiner may be trying to cover up some things worse than sending a lewd picture. Here are some points I want to make sure you all understand:
- Weeks ago, PatriotUSA76 (whom I’ll just call “Patriot”) said he was aware of compromising photographs of a “big-time Congressman” being in the hands of a top 5 conservative blogger.
- Patriot has been uniquely obsessed with Weiner, which suggests the “big-time Congressman” was Weiner.
- Patriot’s explanation of how he happened to see the tweet makes almost no sense. It would take too long to explain why right now; trust me, it requires a pretty big coincidence. Which could happen, of course. I’m not saying it couldn’t.
- Patriot isn’t simply reluctant to talk; his proffered explanation is bizarre. A private conversation with Breitbart might end up appearing online and somehow be used by his ex-wife, or something? My forehead is lined as I make a very quizzical expression.
- Many of you claim the yFrog angle has been debunked. What you haven’t been told is that this is not really true. If you sign up with yFrog, and (as they ask you to) agree that yFrog can access your Twitter account, you can indeed have pictures posted by e-mail, if someone knows your secret yFrog address. I confirmed this with George Gooding. The opponents of the theory cite Weiner’s claimed unfamiliarity with yFrog as proof that he didn’t have an account. I say: why believe anything he says?
- So if Patriot is, or knew, a Weiner paramour who had a compromising photo and knew Weiner’s yFrog e-mail address, they could post it. This is speculation and I am not saying it’s true — but it would explain Weiner’s odd blanket denial of sending the Tweet, but curious accompanying refusal to blanketly deny it’s him.
The main problem with the theory is the Seattle tweet that came earlier in the night, which we know Weiner wrote. Lee’s theory is that perhaps Patriot saw that tweet and seized on it (and the woman’s response) as the perfect time to send off the photo. Could be; also seems like a bit of a stretch.
I say all this, not really to subscribe to the theory, but to show that a) it is not designed to exonerate Weiner, and b) to explain why Patriot’s odd behavior seems potentially relevant. Again, this all hits home much better if you understand how staggeringly unlikely Patriot’s story is that he just happened to see the tweet, which is something that depends upon the mechanics of Twitter that Lee and I experimented with last night. Bottom line is: for Patriot to a) see the tweet on Weiner’s page and not on a Twitter client; b) not have followed Weiner; and c) know that the tweet was up for only 1-5 seconds — all claims that he has made — is just a story that doesn’t ring true. And with him being the source — and having prior knowledge of photos of a big-time Congressman — I can’t help but wonder what is going on.