Jerome Corsi Says He Turned Down Mueller Plea Deal

The longtime conspiracy theorist tells a reporter than he refused to admit that he “knowingly and willfully lied.”

Reports over the weekend stated that Jerome Corsi, a longtime right-wing conspiracy theorist and associate of Roger Stone, was in plea negotiations with the office of Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Corsi, The New York Times said, had been presented with “evidence that he had not been truthful when investigators asked him whether he knew beforehand that WikiLeaks was going to publish emails stolen from Democratic computers during the campaign.”

But now, another report says Corsi has refused Mueller’s offer of a plea. According to a tweet by reporter Natasha Bertrand of The Atlantic, Mueller’s team offered Corsi a plea deal on a single count perjury, but “he’s not going to take it because it would require him to sign a statement saying he knowingly and willfully lied, which he still denies.”

Corsi had said earlier this month that he had expected to be indicted by the special counsel, something Roger Stone has said as well. The report comes on the same day that George Papadopoulos, a former Trump campaign staffer who also plead guilty in the Mueller probe, was scheduled to report to prison.

Long a figure in some of the fringier elements of the conservative media ecosystem, the 72-year-old Corsi has been associated with such websites as World Net Daily and Human Events, and also served for a time as the Washington bureau chief of conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’ media operation InfoWars. He’s also written several books.

While he co-authored Unfit For Command, the book that alleged during the 2004 presidential campaign that Democratic nominee John Kerry was less than honorable in his military service, Corsi is best known for his advocacy for the false accusation that former President Barack Obama was not born in the United States. Corsi even authored one book, 2011’s Where’s the Birth Certificate?: The Case That Barack Obama Is Not Eligible to Be President, which reached bookstore shelves just weeks after Obama publicly released his long form birth certificate. Despite the debunking, the birther conspiracy theory continued to be espoused by many others, including Obama’s successor as president of the United States.

Given that Corsi has spent the bulk of his career advocating for facts and notions that are demonstrably untrue, it’s perhaps ironic that his fate may now rest on his refusal to admit in a signed document that he “knowingly and willfully lied.” Then again, none of the lies about Kerry’s military service or Obama’s birth certificate were ever made under oath or penalty of perjury.

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