Five things to know about Jerome Corsi

Five things to know about Jerome Corsi

Conservative author and conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi made headlines these past few days by publicly revealing he is likely facing an indictment from special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE.

He is also vowing to file a complaint against Mueller, alleging criminal conduct.

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Corsi recently said Mueller's team pressed him about messages he sent to Roger StoneRoger Jason StoneRoger Stone fundraising off promise not to testify against Trump Stone admits to publishing false statements on InfoWars Giuliani indicates Trump Tower Moscow discussions took place up until November 2016 MORE, President TrumpDonald John TrumpREAD: Transcript of James Comey's interview with House Republicans Klobuchar on 2020: ‘I do think you want voices from the Midwest’ Israel boycott fight roils Democrats in year-end spending debate MORE’s friend and longtime confidant, that suggest Corsi had prior knowledge of a WikiLeaks dump that included damaging Democratic emails shortly before the 2016 presidential election.

Both Corsi and Stone deny they had any inside knowledge of the document dump.

Mueller has remained quiet about what charges Corsi could be facing, although prosecutors offered him a chance to avoid a prison sentence by pleading guilty to one charge of making false statements, according to draft court documents provided to The Hill and other publications.

Corsi, 72, has said he views the offered plea deal as a request to lie, saying he didn’t knowingly lie to investigators. And he says that he is prepared to die in prison.

As the news continues to break on Corsi's case, here are five things to know about him.

He has ties to Stone

Corsi reportedly caught the eye of Mueller’s team because of his communications with Stone regarding WikiLeaks.

In draft charging documents, prosecutors for the special counsel allege that Corsi received an email from an individual — whom Corsi identified as Stone — asking for information on emails apparently in WikiLeaks’ possession.

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Corsi said during his questioning that he didn’t follow through on the request and instead warned Stone that it would likely catch the interest of investigators, according to the draft documents.

But Corsi had forwarded Stone's email to another individual. He later responded to Stone, writing that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange “plans 2 more dumps” and that the impact was “planned to be very damaging.”

Corsi told The Hill that he predicted Assange would release the emails of John Podesta, 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonRoger Stone fundraising off promise not to testify against Trump Rivaling chants of 'USA,' 'lock him up' greet Flynn after sentencing hearing The Hill's 12:30 Report — Flynn awaits sentencing | White House signals it wants to avoid shutdown MORE’s campaign chairman, in October only because Podesta’s emails weren’t included in a previous WikiLeaks release.

Stone has come under increasing scrutiny from Mueller; several of his associates were subpoenaed to appear before the special counsel’s grand jury. He told The Hill on Friday that he still has not heard from Mueller.

However, he said that if he were requested to be interviewed as part of Mueller’s investigation, he would have to weigh that decision with his attorneys, saying he believed the special counsel was more likely to charge him with a “process crime” like making false statements to investigators.

He has retained Larry Klayman as an attorney

Klayman, who has been critical of Mueller, was also in the news this week when Corsi announced that the conservative figure had joined his legal team.

As the founder of watchdog groups like Judicial Watch and Freedom Watch, Klayman helped file dozens of lawsuits against the Clinton administration, raising his profile in conservative circles.

Both Corsi and Klayman told The Hill that they had previously worked together. Corsi said that his other lawyer, David Gray, is not a member of the D.C. bar and would not be able to represent him if he were to go to trial in the District of Columbia, prompting him to retain Klayman.

Klayman told The Hill on Thursday that he views his joining the case as not just a way to help Corsi but also to hold Mueller accountable, “which is in the interest of the American people.”

He also has a history with Mueller. He previously went to court to speed up a public records request for any communications between the media and the special counsel, the FBI and the Department of Justice, claiming that some media leaks about the investigation were coming from Mueller. Those documents were later released earlier this year.

And during a July appearance on Infowars, after Mueller indicted 12 Russian military officers in the 2016 hack of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), Klayman claimed that Mueller was attempting to embarrass Trump by unsealing the charges ahead of the president’s summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki.

“He is on a jihad right now, literally, no less than a legal terrorist,” Klayman said of Mueller at the time.

Corsi is known as a conspiracy theorist

Corsi is a prominent promoter of the so-called birther conspiracy theory that falsely claims former President Obama was not born in the United States. Obama released his birth certificate, showing he was born in Hawaii, in response to the claims, which were also promoted at the time by Trump.

Corsi was asked about his support for that conspiracy theory during an interview with Hill.TV’s “Rising” that aired Friday. He stood by his previous claims, maintaining that Obama’s original birth certificate has never been released and that the version released was “a computer copy” made from another individual’s birth certificate.

“And they sure fooled you, because you’re gullible enough to believe the state-derived and approved explanation,” Corsi said.

There is no evidence to support Corsi’s claim.

The Daily Beast also reported this week that Corsi promoted the theory that the DNC emails released by WikiLeaks were first stolen by DNC staffer Seth Rich, who was later murdered in Washington, D.C. The emails included the draft court documents showing that Corsi referred to hackers as having obtained the documents.

In 2017, Corsi was named as the Washington bureau chief for Infowars, the outlet run by conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. Corsi no longer works for Infowars.

He’s threatening to file a criminal complaint against Mueller

Klayman told The Hill this week that he is helping draft a complaint against the special counsel, alleging criminal wrongdoing in the investigation's interactions with Corsi.

Corsi has repeatedly said that he instructed his lawyers to file such a complaint against Mueller. On Thursday, Klayman said the document will allege that Mueller and his prosecutors asked Corsi to lie, in addition to accusing the special counsel of committing other acts of wrongdoing like witness tampering.

It’s unclear what kind of impact the complaint would have on the Mueller investigation if it’s filed.

Corsi is on a media blitz

Corsi has been more vocal about his experience with the Mueller investigation than other witnesses in the probe, appearing almost brazen in his moves to describe his interactions with federal investigators.

Last month he made appearances on MSNBC and Fox News and was quoted in a variety of publications.

He first informed reporters in November that he believed he would be indicted by Mueller in the coming days, a prediction he elaborated on in a livestream. Corsi also used that livestream to request that viewers contribute to his legal defense fund, which he has also touted on his Twitter account.

He has shared documents with news publications like The Hill that he and his attorneys have received from the special counsel.

The special counsel has been notoriously tight-lipped about the Russia investigation, largely choosing to share information only when an indictment is filed or through court filings. A spokesperson for the office often declines to comment on media inquiries regarding aspects of the probe.

Corsi told The Hill that he wants others to know about the special counsel’s actions and to share his experience about the investigation.

He has also written a book about his experience with Mueller, which he has been promoting on Twitter.