Corsi, Backing Away From Plea Deal, Wants to Take On Mueller
(Bloomberg) -- Conservative commentator Jerome Corsi has expanded his legal team to mount a counterattack against Special Counsel Robert Mueller, shortly after rejecting a plea deal with Mueller’s team.
Corsi has hired Larry Klayman, an attorney known for taking on long-shot conservative causes, to assist in his defense. Klayman founded and later split with conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch and has more recently represented former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore.
In a tweet Wednesday, Corsi said he’d added Klayman to his legal team, instructing them to file “a criminal complaint against Mueller’s Special Counsel and the DOJ for prosecutorial misconduct,” without citing any. Klayman, in an email, said he anticipated following through with a complaint to acting U.S. Attorney General Matthew Whitaker “in the next few days.”
A longtime confidant of political consultant Roger Stone, Corsi has been in the Mueller team’s crosshairs over possible communications with WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange. Corsi has for weeks said he probably would be indicted by Mueller, who has been exploring possible collusion between Russia and Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, with WikiLeaks as a potential intermediary.
Previous challenges to Mueller have fallen flat. Trump’s onetime campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, had repeatedly lied to prosecutors in violation of his cooperation agreement, Mueller’s team said earlier this week, exposing Manafort to stiffer sentencing. Another Stone associate has been battling against a grand jury appearance with the argument -- so far unsuccessful -- that Mueller’s appointment was invalid. The developments have inflamed Trump, who’s renewed his Twitter attacks as Mueller’s prosecutors appear to be closing in on more people associated with the campaign.
Corsi has told media outlets that he rejected a plea deal offered by the special counsel’s office, and made draft plea documents available to ABC News and others. The documents showed Corsi would plead guilty to perjury in relation to statements he made about his interactions with WikiLeaks. Corsi doesn’t want to plead guilty because he didn’t intentionally lie, but rather forgot events of a couple of years ago, the New York Times has reported.
Klayman, in his email, said he is preparing to file complaints with Whittaker and two Justice Department units, the Office of Professional Responsibility and the Office of the Inspector General.
David Gray, Corsi’s current counsel, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Klayman, once a federal prosecutor, fell out with associates at Judicial Watch and founded another entity, Freedom Watch. He’s representing Moore in a defamation suit he filed in September against satirist Sacha Baron Cohen and CBS Corp. Klayman secured a notable victory in 2013, winning a court order halting the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of telephone call data. That ruling was later overturned on appeal.
Two years ago, Klayman filed a $1 billion federal racketeering lawsuit on behalf of five people accusing pharmaceutical behemoth Johnson & Johnson of conspiring with Robert Mercer and his Renaissance Technologies Inc. and former U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Margaret Hamburg to reap financial rewards by covering up side effects. The suit alleged involvement of former presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, plus Hillary Clinton and the Clinton foundation.
Judge Richard Leon, who’d sided with Klayman in the NSA lawsuit, dismissed the drug conspiracy case in March 2017, describing some of the allegations as "melodramatic."
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