- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 28, 2018

President Trump’s legal team has a mutual defense agreement in place with attorneys representing Jerome Corsi, a conspiracy theorist caught up in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the 2016 election, Mr. Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani said Wednesday.

Mr. Giuliani confirmed the agreement’s existence during an interview with The Daily Beast after Mr. Corsi mentioned the deal in excerpts from an forthcoming book announced earlier this week “Silent No More: How I Became a Political Prisoner of Mueller’s ‘Witch Hunt.’”

Mr. Giuliani said that he confirmed the arrangement with another member of Mr. Trump’s legal team, Jane Raskin, and that the deal was a recent development, The Daily Beast reported.

A leading proponent of the “birther” conspiracy theory that claims former President Barack Obama was born abroad, Mr. Corsi, 72, recently said that he has been questioned by the special counsel’s team of investigators about his contacts with Roger Stone, a longtime political strategist and former adviser for the 2016 Trump campaign, and that he expects to be charged imminently for lying to FBI agents.

The Daily Caller first reported on Tuesday that Mr. Corsi mentioned the mutual defense agreement in his upcoming book, and that Mr. Corsi’s lawyer, David Gray, received the offer from Jay Sekulow, another one of Mr. Trump’s attorneys.

“[W]e and the White House would be permitted to share information privately about the Special Prosecutor’s investigation, with the goal of the White House and me assisting one another in defending ourselves,” Mr. Corsi wrote in the book, The Daily Caller reported. “After debating the pros and cons, we had decided that any time we could get the attorney for the president of the United States to offer assistance to us, we needed to say to be thankful and accept.”

Mutual defense agreements are not uncommon in cases involving multiple people, and Mr. Giuliani told Politico in October that the president’s lawyers have reached at least 32 similar deals. The arrangement between the president and Mr. Corsi is especially noteworthy, however, particularly given the latter’s reputation for peddling unfounded claims concerning topics ranging from Mr. Obama’s nationality and former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s health, to the baseless “QAnon” and “Pizzagate” conspiracy theories, among others.

A Harvard-educated author and former contributor for right-wing websites including WND and Infowars, Mr. Corsi gained notoriety nearly a decade ago for claiming that Mr. Obama was ineligible to be president on account of allegedly lacking an official U.S. birth certificate — the “birther” conspiracy propagated at the time by Mr. Trump on Twitter.

“Weird—why did BarackObama Sr. fail to list @BarackObama as his son in his 1961 INS application?” Mr. Trump tweeted in 2012 along with a link to a WND article written by Mr. Corsi titled “Immigration officers doubted Obama birth story.”

Mr. Giuliani said Wednesday that Mr. Trump told him that he “vaguely knows” Mr. Corsi from the “birther stuff,” but that he “doesn’t remember the last time they spoke,” The Daily Beast reported.

Mr. Mueller’s office is investigating Russia’s role in the 2016 election, and several people questioned by its investigators said authorities appear interested in whether Mr. Stone, 66, had advance knowledge or involvement in the release of sensitive Democratic Party emails published during the race by the WikiLeaks website. Russian state-sponsored hackers sourced the stolen emails published by WikiLeaks, according to U.S. officials, and Mr. Stone made several public comments prior to their publication that have raised questions concerning the existence of possible connections existing between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin – an allegation at the center of the special counsel’s probe.

Mr. Corsi leaked draft court documents this week that were allegedly prepared by Mr. Mueller’s office in anticipation of charging him with leaking to FBI agents with regards to his contacts with Mr. Stone in 2016 about WikiLeaks. Prosecutors offered Mr. Corsi a plea deal, but he has refused to sign it, he said Tuesday.

The special counsel’s office declined to comment when contacted regarding Mr. Corsi.

Mr. Corsi said he was issued a subpoena on Aug. 28 to appear before a grand jury convened by the special counsel, and that he entered an agreement with the president’s lawyers prior to his first meeting with Mr. Mueller‘ team on Sept. 6, The Daily Caller reported.

He discussed the WikiLeaks publications with Mr. Stone weeks prior to their release in spite of previously telling investigators otherwise, according to the leaked court filings.

Mr. Stone has previously denied having advance knowledge or involvement in the WikiLeaks publications.

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