Jerome Corsi: rightwing author pursuing plea deal with Robert Mueller | US news | The Guardian

Jerome Corsi: rightwing author pursuing plea deal with Robert Mueller | US news | The Guardian

Conspiracy theorist confirms reported negotiations to Guardian but does not offer details

Conspiracy theorist confirms reported negotiations to Guardian but does not offer details

The rightwing author and conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi has confirmed he is in plea negotiations with Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigating Russian election interference and links between Moscow and aides to Donald Trump.

Corsi told the Guardian on Friday: “I can confirm that we have entered plea negotiations.”

The 72-year-old declined to elaborate on the nature of the discussions, which were first reported by the Washington Post. The Post said a spokesman for Mueller declined to comment, as had attorneys for Corsi and Trump.

Corsi is a former Washington bureau chief for the conspiracist website and a leading proponent of the theory that Barack Obama was not born in the US and was thus not eligible to be president. Trump ally Roger Stone, an associate of Corsi, has said that belief led Corsi to Trump, who built a political presence prior to his presidential run by propounding the theory.

Earlier this month, Corsi said he expected to be criminally indicted by Mueller, via what he called a “perjury trap” sprung after an estimated 40 hours of questioning.

He told supporters the special counsel would indict him because he “dared to support Donald Trump” and “opposed the deep state”. The Post reported that he “provided research on Democratic figures” to Stone during the 2016 election.

Stone, 66, is a political operative and self-proclaimed “dirty trickster” who worked for Richard Nixon and has long been close to Trump. He has said he expects to be indicted by Mueller and sought donations to fund his defense.

In August he told the Guardian in a text message he believed Mueller “may frame me for some bogus charge in order to silence me or induce me to testify against the president”.

Stone’s links to and statements about WikiLeaks, which disseminated stolen Democratic party emails, have attracted scrutiny. He has confirmed he exchanged messages with one of the Russian hackers responsible for the breach.

In October, NBC News reported that Mueller’s team believed Corsi might have had advanced notice that WikiLeaks had the emails, and might have informed Stone.

This month, Corsi told the Guardian: “The issue they went to over and over and over again was: who was my source with [the WikiLeaks founder Julian] Assange?”

On Friday, Stone told a radio sation, WBEN, he was “unaware of any plea-bargaining” involving Corsi.

“The assertion that Jerry Corsi knew in advance that [Clinton campaign chairman] John Podesta’s emails had been obtained and would be published would be news to me,” he said, “because he never told me anything of the kind and he never obviously passed on any such documents.”

He added: “This idea that Jerry Corsi could implicate me, there’s simply no evidence whatsoever.”

Analysts quickly questioned the accuracy of Stone’s comments, noting that he once told the New Yorker his guiding principal was: “Admit nothing, deny everything, launch counterattack.”

Also this month, Corsi told the Guardian Mueller’s team also asked him for information about Nigel Farage, the former leader of the UK Independence party who was a leading voice in the successful campaign for Britain to leave the European Union.

Asked if the questions related to Trump’s 2016 campaign or that year’s Brexit vote, Corsi said: “Predominantly US politics, but of course Brexit was in the background.”

A spokesman for Farage said Corsi’s claim was “ill-informed, intentionally malicious gossip and wholly untrue”.

Thirty-four people and three companies have been charged as a result of Mueller’s work, among them a former Trump campaign chair, Paul Manafort, and his deputy Rick Gates; Trump’s first national security adviser, Michael Flynn; the former Trump lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen; George Papadopoulos, a campaign policy adviser; and 25 Russian nationals.

This week, lawyers for Trump submitted written answers to questions from Mueller.

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