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Mueller Has Emails Detailing Trump Campaign Contacts With Assange
Written by <a href="index.php?option=com_comprofiler&task=userProfile&user=49631"><span class="small">Anna Schecter, NBC News</span></a>   
Wednesday, 28 November 2018 09:29

Schecter writes: "Two months before WikiLeaks released emails stolen from the Clinton campaign, right-wing conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi sent an email to former Trump campaign adviser Roger Stone anticipating the document dump, according to draft court papers obtained by NBC News."

Jerome Corsi during an interview at NBC News in New York on November 27, 2018. (photo: Chelsea Stahl/NBC News)
Jerome Corsi during an interview at NBC News in New York on November 27, 2018. (photo: Chelsea Stahl/NBC News)

Mueller Has Emails Detailing Trump Campaign Contacts With Assange

By Anna Schecter, NBC News

28 November 18

"Word is (Julian Assange) plans 2 more dumps...Impact planned to be very damaging," Jerome Corsi said in email to Stone, say draft court documents.

wo months before WikiLeaks released emails stolen from the Clinton campaign, right-wing conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi sent an email to former Trump campaign adviser Roger Stone anticipating the document dump, according to draft court papers obtained by NBC News.

"Word is friend in embassy plans 2 more dumps," Corsi wrote on Aug. 2, 2016, referring to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, according to the draft court papers. "One shortly after I'm back. 2nd in Oct. Impact planned to be very damaging."

The email was revealed in a draft court document, known as a statement of the offense, sent to Corsi by special counsel Robert Mueller's office. Mueller also sent Corsi a draft plea agreement stipulating that the special counsel would not oppose Corsi requesting a sentence of probation if he agreed to plead guilty to one count of lying to federal investigators.

As NBC News reported on Monday, Corsi said he has rejected the deal. He has described Mueller's team as "thugs" and insisted that he did not "intentionally lie" about his communications related to WikiLeaks.

The draft court documents obtained by NBC News provide the most extensive account to date of Corsi's contact with Mueller's prosecutors.

The interviews began on Sept. 6 when Corsi told investigators that an associate, identified by Corsi as Stone, asked him in the summer of 2016 to get in touch with an organization, identified by Corsi as WikiLeaks, about unreleased materials relevant to the presidential campaign, the draft court papers say.

"Get to (Assange) [a]t Ecuadorian Embassy in London and get the pending (WikiLeaks) emails," read the email to Corsi dated July 25, 2016, according to the draft court documents.

Corsi said he declined the request and made clear to Stone that an attempt to contact WikiLeaks could put them in investigators' crosshairs, according to the draft court documents.

But Mueller's team said that was a lie.

Instead of turning down the request, Corsi in fact passed it along to a person in London, according to the draft court documents. Corsi said that person was conservative author Ted Malloch.

Eight days later, Corsi sent the email to Stone saying that WikiLeaks possessed information that would be damaging to Hillary Clinton's campaign and planned to release it in October.

"Time to let more than (Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta) to be exposed as in bed w enemy if they are not ready to drop HRC (Hillary Rodham Clinton)," Corsi added in the Aug. 2, 2016, email, according to the draft court papers. "That appears to be the game hackers are now about."

On Oct. 7, 2016, WikiLeaks released the first of two batches of emails that Russian hackers stole from Podesta, altering the trajectory of the presidential race.

Mueller's team says in the court papers that Corsi scrubbed his computer between Jan. 13, 2017, and March 1, 2017, deleting all email correspondence that predated Oct. 11, 2016, including the messages from Stone about WikiLeaks and Corsi's email to Malloch.

Corsi remained in contact with Stone in 2017 when the former Trump adviser's connections to WikiLeaks came under investigation by the FBI and congressional committees, according to the draft court papers.

On Nov. 30, 2017, Stone emailed Corsi asking him to write about a person whom Stone had told congressional investigators was his "source" or "intermediary" to WikiLeaks, according to the draft court papers.

Corsi and Stone have identified that person as Randy Credico, a radio host and one-time friend of Stone.

"Are you sure you want to make something out of this now?" Corsi responded, according to the draft court papers. "Why not wait to see what (Credico) does? You may be defending yourself too much — raising new questions that will fuel new inquiries. This may be a time to say less, not more."

Stone responded by telling Corsi that Credico will "take the 5th — but let's hold a day," the draft court document says.

The draft court documents says that Corsi met with the special counsel's office for several additional interviews and provided access to his email accounts and electronic devices.

In the interviews, the draft court papers say, Corsi said that his claims to Stone, beginning in 2016, that he had a way of obtaining confidential information from WikiLeaks were false.

Corsi, the former Washington bureau chief of the conspiracy theory outlet InfoWars, has told NBC News that he had no direct or indirect contact with WikiLeaks. Corsi claims to have anticipated WikiLeaks' release of the hacked emails by "connecting the dots" between public statements from Assange and other available materials.

"Why did I think they were coming out in October? Because I said to myself if I had these emails I'd use them as the October surprise," Corsi told NBC News on Tuesday. "And why did I think they would come out serially, drip by drip? Because Assange is very strategic. He understands the news cycle."

A spokesman for Mueller's office declined to comment. Corsi's lawyer, David Gray, also declined to comment.

But in a letter drafted by Gray and addressed to Mueller's team, Corsi's lawyer argued that he should not be charged with a crime based on a faulty memory.

"I understand that this plea to making a false claim is predicated on the fact that Dr. Corsi had emails and phone calls wherein he was in fact interested in WikiLeaks," Gray wrote.

"He had not had the benefit of reviewing all of his emails prior to the interview and you graciously allowed him to review his emails and amend his statements — which he did. Now, after various amendments to his statements, Dr. Corsi is being asked to affirmatively state that he lied to FBI agents. The issue is that the statements that Dr. Corsi made were, in fact, the best he could recall at the time."

Gray also noted that if Corsi were to plead guilty, he would have to give up his securities license and cease his online chats until sentencing, depriving him of crucial sources of income.

Daniel Goldman, a former federal prosecutor who is now a legal analyst for NBC News and MSNBC, said the documents suggest that Mueller has more on Corsi than is laid out in the draft court papers.

"Based on reviewing these documents, I believe that the office of the special counsel may have more evidence of criminal wrongdoing by Corsi beyond the false statements, and that is why they engaged in plea negotiations," Goldman said.

Goldman also said that the documents indicate that Mueller and his investigators are "really circling Stone."

"He is a clear target of the investigation," Goldman added.

Stone, who has repeatedly insisted that he had no advanced knowledge of the WikiLeaks email dump, said Tuesday that the newly-released emails don't suggest otherwise.

"None of these emails provide any evidence or proof that I knew in advance about the source or content of any of the allegedly stolen or allegedly hacked emails published by WikiLeaks," Stone said.

"Since when did gossip become a criminal offense? Where is the WikiLeaks collaboration? Where is the evidence that I received anything whatsoever from WikiLeaks and passed it on to Donald Trump? These emails prove nothing other than the fact that Jerry Corsi is an aggressive investigative reporter."

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-16 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2018-11-28 10:20
This story is misleading and sometimes flat wrong. There was no communication between Stone, Corsi, or any Trump supporter and Assange. What happened is that all of them were following tweets that Assange put out hinting about what was to come on WikiLeaks. They discussed these revelations and suggested among themselves that they should try to contact Assange. Most of us have done this.

This is political discussion. It is perfectly legal. Had they communicated with Assange it would have been perfectly legal. All people are free to contact a journalist or publisher. How many of us have written "letters to the editor" of newspapers? Probably everyone.

Stone is right on this one -- political gossip is not a criminal offense. It is what journalists do every day.

Mueller is so desperate to find a connection between Assange and Trump that he was almost begging Corsi to lie. He's going to compel Manafort to lie. Manafort has a dilemma -- spend the rest of his life in prison or lie for Mueller.

Here's the interview of Corsi by Tucker Carlson. (I know it is FOX but it is worth listening to.) It is interesting to hear what Corsi says about Mueller. He's not investigating a crime; he's fabricating a narrative that will frame Trump, Putin, and Assange. This is what prosecutors do in third world dictatorships.

Corsi's story is exactly who no one should ever talk to a federal prosecutor. They have no good intentions.
+10 # HarryP 2018-11-28 13:40
Rodion: I admire your dogged defense of the honor of Corsi and Manafort - two honest, straight-arrows , innocent observers of contemporary political issues - no more, no less. It is not they who lied, but Mueller who is trying to lead them down the road to peridition. It is a truly heartwarming to see them resist, with every fiber of their being, Mueller’s odious temptation to sin.
Except there’s a problem with that scenario. Corsi’s and Manafort’s stock in trade consists of spreading lies. Manafort’s trial made that abundantly clear. He pled “not guilty,” except that his own documents contradicted him, exposing tax evasion, money laundering, wire fraud, etc. As for Corsi, it’s even worse. His livelihood is lying. It comes to him as easy as breathing air. Are you familiar with his books? I suspect you just may be a proud owner of some of them. Has he ever written anything about Obama & Hillary that was true?
If I were you, I wouldn’t bet my last ruble on the honesty of these gentlemen. The smart money is on Mueller,
-5 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2018-11-28 16:24
HP -- your sense of irony is what is honorable. Actually, I really do hate the politics of Stone, Manafort, Corsi, and all the rest of them. But if we as principled democratic socialists and civil libertarians don't defend even people we don't like from the power abuses of someone like Mueller, then we really cannot expect our ideals about legal protections for anyone to stand.

It used to be liberals cared more about principles than the person being screwed by the tyrannical powers of the state. No more. Now liberals defend themselves, all others can go to hell.

I've not read any of Corsi's books. I know very little about him. I do know that Corsi, Stone, and many others see Mueller as a Clinton hatchet man. There is some truth in that.

I forgot the link to the Tucker Carlson interview with Corsi.