WASHINGTON – Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian collusion in the 2016 presidential election seem to be shapeshifting into a probe over collusion with WikiLeaks.
Author Jerome Corsi is now rejecting a plea deal he says was offered to him by Mueller because it would force him to lie about his alleged inside information pertaining to WikiLeaks leaks and his relationship with founder Julian Assange.
“No, I never met Julian Assange, I never spoke with him, I’ve never emailed him, I’ve had no contact with Julian Assange whatsoever,” Corsi said on “Tucker Carlson Tonight” on Fox News Tuesday. Corsi told a story of fully cooperating with the Mueller probe, handing over his computers, providing access to his emails, even turning over his Twitter access, as well as a time machine that recorded when documents were created on his computer.
“I gave them everything voluntarily,” he said.
But what Corsi did not have, he said, was a pipeline to Assange.
“So it’s really, I think, completely fraudulent the charge they were trying to get me to plead to, and I refused to plead to a lie,” Corsi told Carlson. “I never willingly and falsely gave information. I always intended to tell the truth. My memory was imperfect.”
Corsi called Mueller’s probe “a political witch hunt.”
Corsi earlier showed ABC News copies of a plea agreement he says was drafted by Mueller’s prosecutors that would have exposed Corsi to a prison sentence of up to five years for “knowingly [making] materially false, fictitious and fraudulent statements” to the FBI about communications with an unidentified “associate’s request to get in touch with an organization that he understood to be in possession of stolen emails and other documents pertaining to the 2016 U.S. presidential election.”
Meanwhile, Paul Manafort is threatening to sue the Guardian newspaper over reports he met with WikiLeaks’ Assange. Manafort categorically denies any such meetings, as does Assange.
WikiLeaks said on Twitter it was willing “to bet … a million dollars and the editor’s head” that the Guardian story was wrong and that the group is launching a legal defense fund.
Meanwhile, CNN reported Mueller is inquiring about a 2017 meeting between Manafort, the former chairman of President Donald Trump’s campaign, and Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno and whether they discussed WikiLeaks or its founder during the meeting.
Assange has been taking refuge at the Ecuadorian embassy in London since 2012. CNN’s report comes hours after the Guardian reported Manafort visited the embassy at least three times since Assange began living there, including once in March 2016, around the time he joined the Trump campaign.