Special Counsel Robert Mueller has reportedly offered conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi a plea bargain in connection with his investigation into the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 election. Corsi, a vocal birther during the Obama years and an early proponent of the QAnon conspiracy theory, proclaimed his innocence on Twitter Sunday.
In an interview with the New York Times, though, Corsi was more circumspect. “I still believe I’ve told them the truth, and to the best of my ability and the best of my recollection,” he told the paper, adding, “my memory of 2016 is not perfect, by any means.”
During the campaign, Roger Stone — a longtime Trump adviser and friend of Corsi’s — tweeted a series of messages suggesting he was aware that Wikileaks was in possession of emails hacked from the account of Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager, John Podesta. Investigators believe the emails were stolen by Russian intelligence operatives before they were published by Wikileaks.
The Times reported on Saturday that the special counsel has proof — including text messages and emails — indicating Corsi lied when asked by investigators whether he had prior knowledge of WikiLeaks’ intention to publish hacked emails during the 2016 campaign.
In exchange for his cooperation, Mueller is asking Corsi to plead to a single count of perjury. Corsi confirmed the offer Monday morning, telling NBC’s Anna Schecter, “They want me to say I willfully lied. I’m not going to agree that I lied. I did not. I will not lie to save my life. I’d rather sit in prison and rot for as long as these thugs want me to.”
Corsi staked out that defiant position the same day former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos — the first person charged in the Mueller investigation — was ordered to report to a federal prison in Oxford, Wisconsin. Papadopoulos is set to serve 14 days for pleading guilty to making false statements to FBI.