Mueller's wayward witnesses, part 2

November 28, 2018

After my commentary yesterday about Robert Mueller’s wayward witnesses, a lot more has come out about the special counsel’s treatment of Jerome Corsi and Paul Manafort.  (Not so much about George Papadopoulos, however, as he’s cooling his heels in a medium-security Wisconsin prison for 14 days.)

Corsi appeared on Tuesday’s Tucker Carlson show and demonstrated that he’s not going along quietly with what the special counsel would have him do.  Mueller is trying to piece together his and fellow conservative author Roger Stone’s relationship (if one exists) with Julian Assange of WikiLeaks, who leaked John Podesta’s emails, which were damaging to Hillary and the DNC during the 2016 campaign.

 

Jerome Corsi is often dismissed as an Infowars conspiracy theorist, infamous for his furthering of the “birther” theory that suggested Obama was actually born in Kenya and therefore wasn’t qualified to be President.  (He was also accused of being racist for this, although the theory is no more racist than questioning the qualifications of a white person who might possibly have been born in, say, South Africa.)  But, as Carlson pointed out on his show, Corsi, age 72, has a Ph.D. in political science from Harvard and has written two New York Times bestsellers.  The felony charges he may be facing could easily put him behind bars for the rest of his life.


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Mueller has all the emails between Stone and Corsi.  Court papers show that a July 25, 2016, email from Stone to Corsi asks him to contact Assange at the Ecuadorian Embassy.  Corsi says he declined Stone’s request, saying any attempt to contact WikiLeaks might look bad.  Mueller apparently doesn’t believe Corsi and may believe he went to London to get the Podesta emails and pass them along.  (Of course, Mueller is going on the assumption that Assange got them from Russia, but Assange denies this and could very well have had another source.)

 

On August 2, Corsi wrote to Stone that WikiLeaks possessed information damaging to Hillary’s campaign and planned an October release.  He said it was “time to let more than (Podesta) be exposed as in bed w enemy if they are not ready to drop HRC.  That appears to be the game hackers are now about.”  Sure enough, WikiLeaks released the Podesta emails on October 7 (which happens to be the same day the Trump “Access Hollywood” tape came out, another “October surprise”).

 

According to FOX News reports, Mueller has been trying to find out if there was coordination between Stone and Assange about the timing of the release the Podesta emails.  Corsi denied having inside information about that.  As I mentioned yesterday, Corsi said he “connected the dots” and simply speculated that WikiLeaks had Podesta’s emails.

 

Prior to the broadcast, Roger Stone told Carlson, “None of the emails cited prove I had advance notice of the sources or content of either allegedly hacked or allegedly stolen emails published by WikiLeaks.  When did political gossip become a criminal activity?”  He also repeated what he has said about Corsi being prosecuted by Mueller “not for lying but for refusing to lie.”

 

Corsi says he thought he was being cooperative; he turned over his laptop and personal phone with access to all his emails, plus his Twitter account and all other communications as far back as 2015.  After going through everything and dissecting every word, Mueller summoned him to an interview (the first of six) in September of this year, during which they asked him if he’d tried to broker a meeting with Julian Assange at the London embassy.  He said he hadn’t, and that, in fact, “he didn’t want anyone to see Assange.”  According to Corsi, the interrogators left the room to confer at that point, and when they came back they informed him that he’d just committed a felony.

 

Investigators had an email chain from 2016 in which he’d been asked to contact Assange.  (It’s not clear from the FOX story, but that appears to be the email mentioned earlier from Roger Stone.)  Corsi forwarded the request to someone else.  Nothing ever came of this, but since Corsi had forgotten to tell Mueller about forwarding that email, he was accused of lying.

 

It seems obvious that Corsi simply forgot about forwarding it.  Why would he think he could deceive Mueller, who had all his communications and had no doubt gone through every one of them with a fine-toothed comb?  As Carlson pointed out, they already knew that Corsi hadn’t left the United States and hadn’t spoken to Assange.  I would add that with the security at the Ecuadorian embassy, there would be a record of any visit, along with video of everyone coming and going.

 

Corsi says he has never met Julian Assange and has never had any contact with him whatsoever.  But he forgot about forwarding one email two years ago that concerned Assange but amounted to nothing.  For that, he probably faces bankruptcy trying to defend himself and may die in prison.


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After that first fateful interview, Corsi was given an opportunity to go home and review the emails in question, and he says that when he came back, he amended his testimony to say that he could now recall the email.  “The special counsel was happy with that,” he told Carlson, “until I couldn’t give them what they wanted, which was a connection that I had with Assange, that they assumed I had, which I didn’t have.  Now, suddenly, they forgot they’d allowed me to amend my testimony, and they’re going back to the mistake I made Day 1, when I forgot the email.”

 

He claims they were trying to get him to plead guilty to “willingly and knowingly” giving them false information, and he refused to plead to a lie.  He says his memory was not perfect (whose is?) but that he always intended to tell the truth.  He believes his ordeal is “completely rigged and politically driven by Clinton operatives who have an agenda.”  If a witness can’t give them what they need to complete their narrative, they “blow up” and charge that witness with perjury.

 

This is why President Trump absolutely must not sit down with this special counsel.  Their goal is not to determine what he did or did not do, but simply to trap him in just this way.

………………..

 

Speaking of meeting Assange at the Ecuadorian embassy, the Guardian ran a story claiming, with no evidence, that Paul Manafort –- see, we did finally get around to him –- held multiple secret talks with him there, multiple from 2013 to 2016.  Manafort issued a statement saying the story was “totally false” and “deliberately libelous.”  “I have never met Julian Assange or anyone connected to him,” the statement reads. “I have never been contacted by anyone connected to WikiLeaks, either directly or indirectly.  I have never reached out to Assange or WikiLeaks on any matter.”

 

For its part, WikiLeaks tweeted:  “Remember this day, when the Guardian permitted a serial fabricator to totally destroy the paper’s reputation.  WikiLeaks is willing to bet the Guardian a million dollars and its editor’s head that Manafort never met Assange.”  Both Manafort and WikiLeaks are talking about legal action against the paper.

 

For what it’s worth, I’ve linked to the story.  The Guardian has tweaked it a bit and added “sources say” to the original headline.  (These are unnamed sources, of course.)  Now I’m wondering if this story is another of Mueller’s assumptions built on nothing, and if it might be one of the things he’s now accusing Manafort of lying about.  If so, it wouldn’t surprise me, even if Manafort is telling the truth.  His sense of justice seems to be on about the same level as the Guardian’s reporting.

 

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/nov/27/manafort-held-secret-talks-with-assange-in-ecuadorian-embassy

 

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Mueller's wayward witnesses, part 2

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Comments 1-25 of 28

  • Grace Bastedo

    12/02/2018 12:22 PM

    I think this Mueller investigation is just a lawyered up scheme to trip people up and make things appear to be corrupt. Hillary and Bill committed more blatant and known wrongs and yet they walk freely. This investigation is a national disgrace. Free Manafort and start prosecuting your friends on the left Mr. Mueller if you have the integrity to do so.

  • Marc A Eisenstein

    11/29/2018 09:44 PM

    Why is this folly allowed to continue? Will it over end?

  • Michele clark

    11/29/2018 11:30 AM

    What about michael cohen pleading guilty today? This info sounds pretty damaging for trump

  • WILLIAM RHOADES

    11/28/2018 11:54 PM

    These nonsense investigations need to end. These investigations are going nowhere and are costing a lot of money to taxpayers. I feel that as Americans, we are becoming so tired of all these political nonsense in our federal government! I am positive that conservative voters as well as true Americans living in this country will make their displeasure known with elected officials that are just seeking political party power instead of working and truly representing all Americans!

  • Lynn Hoyt

    11/28/2018 04:34 PM

    This is so much like a 3rd world country!!! How can we lock people up for the rest of their lives without reason. They have done nothing except support their president!!! President Trump needs to put a stop to this, get rid of the rest of the deep state starting with Rosenstein!

  • Claude Latham

    11/28/2018 04:18 PM

    Hate to say it again, all this is PHONY Baloney, just to get the attention off the Clinton Family which should be in orange suits!!!!

  • Anita Mae Barker

    11/28/2018 03:45 PM

    The person who belongs behind bars is Mueller!!
    Bless you, Mike.

  • Rosalie Gilliland

    11/28/2018 03:20 PM

    The only crime Paul Manafort and Jerome Corsi are guilty of is supporting President Trump. Now Hillary Clinton, James Comey, John Podesta, and the rest of Evil, Incorporated...that's another story.

  • Leslie Key

    11/28/2018 03:16 PM

    I hope a “Go Fund Me” account is set up to help Corsi pay his hundreds of thousands of dollars he must pay in legal defense bills to fight against Mueller. Otherwise, this may surely bankrupt Corsi. I admire Corsi for fighting this and not caving to the corrupt Mueller team. Corsi NEVER lied to the Mueller team, he simply forgot he had forwarded an email to someone. This is a perjury trap and this is why President Trump should NEVER sit down with Mueller and his totally corrupt team of angry Democrats, to answer questions. These disgusting people don’t want to get at the truth - they want to trap you!

  • Jesse sumrall

    11/28/2018 02:51 PM

    I think that once mueller has found out that all he has been trying to do is false, he should have to pay back all the millions he has spent and also all the money people have lost thru his assault
    of them.

    This I am not a robot is stupid, how do I know that you aren’t a Democrat trying to get peoples name?

  • David Colonna

    11/28/2018 02:02 PM

    Hello Mike,
    I know you have a somewhat direct link to our Great President Donald Trump. Please tell President Trump to immediately after Manafort and if Donald Corsi gets convicted to Pardon them both after only 1 day in jail. I also ask that you suggest President Trump to hire you or I to Attorney General so either one of is can fire Rosenstein and Mueller immediately and immediately press federal treason charges against the gang of Clunton and Obama law breaking bullies. I would have no hesitation to immediately fire them...

  • Joe Analco

    11/28/2018 01:55 PM

    Why is such a injustice allowed to happened when it is obvious that the criminals are controlling the investigation.

  • Thomas G Hunt,Sr

    11/28/2018 01:12 PM

    If anyone with half a brain cannot see that Mueller is playing the exact same game that put an innocent man in prison for mailing antrax they are totally blind to reality. Question? Why are the Democrats and a lot of the republicans wanting to make a law to prevent the executive branch from performing its job if he deems it necessary. Mueller is not an elected official and he has a record of corruption whether anyone believes it or not. Does mueller have dirt on our elected congress that they fear. What is actually taking place here. It is obvious something is going on. It appears to be corruption on Muellers part and a lot of our elected officials.

  • Mariann Flynn

    11/28/2018 12:33 PM

    This entire Mueller investigation is an expensive political misapplication of our justice system. It is past time for congress to stop wasting our money. I am disgusted with this farce.

  • David E Steuber

    11/28/2018 12:26 PM

    You say, "Court papers show that a July 25, 2016, email from Stone to Corsi asks him to contact Assange at the Ecuadorian Embassy...Investigators had an email chain from 2016 in which he’d been asked to contact Assange. (It’s not clear from the FOX story, but that appears to be the email mentioned earlier from Roger Stone.) Corsi forwarded the request to someone else."

    If this is true, it's obviously key who the "someone else" was, and whether forwarding the email to that party could be, or should have been, construed by Corsi, in answering Mueller's question, as trying to "broker a meeting" with Assange. If the "someone else" was not a person close to or in direct contact with Assange, it's hard to see how forwarding the email to him could be viewed as attempting to broker a meeting. If that person was close to Assange, Mueller would still have to prove that Corsi knew, or should have known, that what he did amounted to brokering a meeting with Assange. The word "broker" is open to interpretation. Lying or perjuring oneself requires a state of mind--the misstatement of a fact with the intention to deceive. If Corsi had simply forgotten that he forwarded the email, or if he reasonably believed that doing so did not rise to the level of trying to broker a meeting, he did not lie. Either way, Mueller has a difficult case to prove.

  • Elaine Condon

    11/28/2018 12:14 PM

    I am so tired of this witch hunt and people's lives being destroyed. People on the left are still in denial about the complicity of hilary and the DNC. It is not going to end, now that the democrats are in power in the House. My heart aches every time I read another article on how the democrats plan to destroy the US.

  • Kevin Cook

    11/28/2018 12:04 PM

    This is so pathetic to waste tens of millions of our money for trying to hang innocent people when the real Russian collusion and biggest scandal in US history was Hillary and Hussein colluding with Russia and spying on President Trump to rig the 2016 election. The subsequent presidential coup by Mueller is even more disgusting and he to me is a traitor!

  • Lawrence E. Foster

    11/28/2018 11:59 AM

    I think the latest accusation against Manafort - that he secretly met with Assange - is going to blow up and bite l'il Bobby Mueller in his sleazy tuchus. It is starting to look like they used a version of Jim Comey's ploy on the "dossier" - leak it to the media, then use media stories as "corroboration". But Manafort is vigorously denying, and the British Guardian newspaper is starting to walk back the story. If Acting AG Whitaker finds out the Mueller inquisition squad leaked this to the Guardian (either directly or through collaborators in MI6), then he has grounds to fire Mueller, and bring in a real investigator (someone without a Torquemada complex, maybe Dave Clarke the Milwaukee County Sherriff), to wrap up Mueller's inquisition, and look into illegal activity by Mueller and Weissman et al.

  • Charles Teachout

    11/28/2018 11:57 AM

    It breaks my heart to hear the story about Corsi's prosecution. I am deeply grateful to you, Mike, for your fine, concise explanation.

    Once again, justice in the Mueller investigation is measured in one direction: toward Republican operatives. It is simply detestable political retribution that Corsi's amended testimony that is reminiscent of a kangaroo court.

  • Richard Shoemaker

    11/28/2018 11:35 AM

    What no one has pointed out re the Russian collusion is lack of motive. Putin clearly had the clintons by the short hairs based on donations to the Clinton “charity” and the uranium deal. Hillary would have been a perfect president for Putin to run over and annex more of the ukraine and other territories I Europe.

  • Michael Osborne

    11/28/2018 11:14 AM

    Mike, can you please tell us what president Trump is going to do about stopping this witch hunt about Mueller and his cohorts? This is making many people angry, me included, that President Trump does not stop this mess when he has the power to? Can he not start locking people up that we know is the conspirators of this so called “collusion” ?

  • Mark Mittelstaedt

    11/28/2018 10:52 AM

    Mueller and the rest of his Keystone Kops prosecutors must've worked for the KGB or the OGPU in another life ;-}

  • Thomas Joseph Hussman

    11/28/2018 10:39 AM

    Mueller is facing an impossible task if he thinks he can throw Corsi in prison for knowing about the dirt on Podesta. Remember the millions of crimes committed by thousands of US Gov employees discussed by Snowden. Mueller is proving to be the anticlimactic Special Counselor we all thought he was from the beginning. This is getting really boring.

  • Thomas Joseph Hussman

    11/28/2018 10:38 AM

    Mueller is facing an impossible task if he thinks he can throw Corsi in prison for knowing about the dirt on Podesta. Remember the millions of crimes committed by thousands of US Gov employees discussed by Snowden. Mueller is proving to be the anticlimactic Special Counselor we all thought he was from the beginning. This is getting really boring.

  • rodney Burke

    11/28/2018 10:33 AM

    we are starting to see VERY clearly the total lack of integrity of Mueller and how some are seeing thru him and telling him no. This should activate SOMEONE to DO something about this despicable man. Mueller is a typical democratic failure. His track record in Boston alone should be enough to put him in jail and then there are all his failures as FBi director. uranium one etc. If ANYONE needs to go to jail it is him.
    -
    My earnest prayer is for indictments up the wazoo on all this despicable democrats and massive jail sentences. Pressuring someone to lie to suit his fancy is about as low as it gets. "But then communists are the lowest." George S. Patton