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Roger Stone associate says he won't agree to plea deal

An associate of Roger Stone said Monday he is refusing to sign a plea deal offered by special counsel Robert...

Posted: Nov 27, 2018 8:37 AM
Updated: Nov 27, 2018 8:37 AM

An associate of Roger Stone said Monday he is refusing to sign a plea deal offered by special counsel Robert Mueller.

Jerome Corsi, whose role in Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election largely revolves around the possibility that he was an intermediary between Stone and WikiLeaks, said he was offered a deal to plea on one count of perjury.

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"They can put me in prison the rest of my life. I am not going to sign a lie," Corsi told CNN in a phone call.

Asked what happens now that he is refusing, Corsi responded: "I don't know."

A spokesman for the special counsel's office had no comment.

Last week, Corsi acknowledged he was in plea negotiations with Mueller's office, and earlier this month, he said he expected to be indicted for "giving false information to the special counsel or to one of the other grand jury."

Corsi said Monday that he believed he would by lying by signing the plea agreement because he says he did not willfully mislead anyone.

Describing his experience with Mueller's team as "like being interrogated as a POW in the Korean War," Corsi said after two months of questioning, prosecutors believed they caught him in various lies and did not appear to believe him when he said he could not recall certain events.

Corsi insisted he had no contact with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and that "investigators were so mad because I didn't give them what they wanted."

He claimed that Mueller's team wanted to keep any plea agreement sealed, a point that particularly incensed him. Corsi said he would be required to report legal infractions to financial regulators.

In a statement on Monday following Corsi's latest comments, Stone said the special counsel was harassing Corsi "not for lying, but for refusing to lie" and continued to maintain his own innocence.

"It is inconceivable that in America someone would be prosecuted for refusing to swear to a false narrative pushed on him by the Muller investigators," Stone said.

Stone also said last week that as far as he knew, Corsi "refuses to lie," and expressed sympathy for his associate's apparent legal problems, while also appearing to question his credibility.

"He doesn't believe the moon landing happened, for example -- he thinks it was staged," Stone said.

Corsi's comments have added to the public focus around Stone, a longtime associate of President Donald Trump, and the Mueller investigation.

Corsi injected himself into Stone's situation last year when he claimed that one of his own articles for InfoWars inspired Stone to predict in October 2016 that there would be trouble coming for Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta. Not long after that, WikiLeaks started releasing thousands of Podesta's hacked emails.

Stone has denied wrongdoing regarding WikiLeaks' releases during the 2016 campaign, and several of his associates have been brought before a grand jury as Mueller's team continued its investigation of Stone.

"I never received advance notice, from anyone, that Podesta's emails had been 'nicked,' as the Brits would say, and would be published," Stone said Monday. "Any and all research I received from Dr. Corsi came from public legal sources. As Dr. Corsi has said I have no knowledge of any contact or communication with Julian Assange or WikiLeaks by Dr. Corsi."

For his part, Stone released a series of text messages between himself and New York radio host Randy Credico last week, showing the two discussing a coming threat to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton's campaign shortly before WikiLeaks' Podesta publications.

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