Roger Stone pal Jerome Corsi refuses plea deal from Mueller
Jerome Corsi, the right-wing conspiracy theorist suspected of serving as a link between WikiLeaks and Trump confidant Roger Stone, is refusing a plea deal from special counsel Robert Mueller because he says he won’t “sign a lie.”
In interviews with several cable news outlets Monday, Corsi said the special counsel has offered him to plead guilty to one count of perjury for allegedly lying to investigators about his WikiLeaks-related conversations with Stone during the 2016 campaign.
“They can put me in prison the rest of my life. I am not going to sign a lie,” Corsi told CNN.
Asked what’s next now that he has rejected a deal, Corsi replied, “I don’t know.”
A spokesman for the special counsel declined to comment.
Corsi did not respond to repeated requests for comment from the New York Daily News.
Corsi, a 72-year-old ex-InfoWars editor infamous for perpetuating the false claim that President Barack Obama wasn’t born in the United States, has come under scrutiny from the special counsel over his peculiar predictions of WikiLeaks’ 2016 releases of emails stolen from Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager John Podesta.
In the summer of 2016, Corsi told Stone in emails that Podesta would be WikiLeaks’ next victim. He also published articles online about the same. Within weeks of Corsi’s speculations, the radical transparency organization began to dump the hacked Podesta emails, proving a significant embarrassment to Clinton’s campaign.
Corsi has vehemently denied coordinating with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange or any other employees at the organization. Stone, who served as an informal adviser to Trump during the campaign, has also denied any coordination.
Corsi did not expand on what the possible perjury charge related to but maintains he hasn’t willfully lied or misled investigators. He claims his WikiLeaks predictions were based on hunches and research, not any direct communication with Assange or his allies.
In response to Corsi’s plea deal rebuff, Stone accused Mueller of harassing his “friend.”
“It is inconceivable that in America someone would be prosecuted for refusing to swear to a false narrative pushed on him by the Mueller investigators,” Stone told the Daily News in a text message.
The U.S. intelligence community has unanimously concluded that the hacked Clinton emails were provided to WikiLeaks by Russian operatives as part of the Kremlin’s Trump-boosting interference in the 2016 election.
Mueller is looking into whether there was any coordination between Corsi, Stone and the Trump campaign as part of his investigation into possible collusion between the president and Moscow.
Legal experts say Corsi is playing with fire by refusing a deal.
“Mueller likely believes that Corsi could be a valuable witness against Stone,” tweeted Renato Mariotti, a former federal prosecutor in Illinois. “If Corsi believes he is not guilty, he shouldn’t plead guilty. But Mueller’s team has either already told Corsi’s attorney the evidence proves his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, or would likely do so if asked. He is taking a big risk by daring Mueller to charge.”
Also Monday, former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos reported to a federal prison in Wisconsin to begin serving his 14-day sentence for lying to the FBI about his pre-2016 election contacts with a Kremlin-connected professor named Joseph Mifsud who had promised “dirt” on Clinton.
Before entering prison, Papadopoulos put out a final defiant message charging Mifsud is actually not a Russian government operative but a “western” intelligence source — an unsubstantiated theory he has peddled in recent weeks while toying with the idea of withdrawing his guilty plea.
“Still can’t believe the day I am going to a federal prison camp, mainstream media says am going for my Russia contacts,” Papadopoulos tweeted. “I have never met a single Russian official in my life. I have, however, met many western intel sources — Joseph Mifsud — who people still call ‘Russian.’ Facts. USA.”