Jerome Corsi, a conservative author and conspiracy theorist suing special counsel Robert Mueller, dragged The Washington Post, its publisher and a newspaper reporter into a $1.35 billion lawsuit late Monday.
Mr. Corsi’s lawyer, conservative watchdog Larry Klayman, amended a civil suit pending in D.C. federal court against Mr. Mueller and multiple federal agencies to accuse The Washington Post of costing his client a job working for Infowars, the website run by fellow right-wing media personality and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.
A proponent of the “birther” theory that claimed former President Barack Obama was born abroad, Mr. Corsi, 72, was named D.C. bureau chief of Infowars by Mr. Jones in early 2017. He announced late last year that he was questioned at length by members of Mr. Mueller’s team investigating Russian interference in the 2016 elections, and that he expects to be charged for lying about messages he shared with former members of President Trump’s campaign concerning WikiLeaks, the website that published stolen documents during the race damaging to Mr. Trump’s opponent, Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.
Mr. Corsi was receiving $15,000 per month from Infowars prior to being terminated late last week amid The Washington Post investigating his employment, Mr. Klayman wrote in the amended complaint filed Monday evening.
Manuel Roig-Franzia, a reporter for the Post, contacted Mr. Corsi last Thursday to ask him about Infowars, Mr. Klayman wrote in the lawsuit. He added that Mr. Roig-Franzia indicated during the call that his sources told him that Dr. David Jones, the head of human resources at Infowars, had essentially hired Mr. Corsi “to influence and/or suppress and/or misrepresent and falsify his testimony to Defendant Mueller’s prosecutors and/or the FBI regarding Alex Jones and/or Roger Stone,” an Infowars contributor and former adviser to Mr. Trump’s 2016 election campaign.
Mr. Corsi was terminated from his Infowars job the next day, Mr. Klayman wrote in the lawsuit.
Mr. Roig-Franzia has not reported on Mr. Corsi’s employment since, but Infowars said its lawyer was contacted by a different Post reporter who also claimed the subject is being scrutinized by the special counsel’s probe as a potential “hush money” arrangement.
“Defendants, working together in concert, are attempting to financially deplete Plaintiff Corsi by interfering with his business relationships with his publisher and distributor, as well as with Dr. David Jones, Alex Jones, and InfoWars in order to ‘bring him to his financial knees’ and attempt to leave him with no choice but to provide the false sworn testimony that they seek in order to accomplish their designs to take down President Trump and have him removed from office, if not criminally prosecuted,” Mr. Klayman said in a statement.
“The actions of Defendant Jeff Bezos, the ultra-leftist and vehemently anti-Trump owner and publisher of WAPO, whose net worth is reported to be about 170 billion dollars, and at his direction his pliant reporter Defendant Manuel Roig-Franzia, were also intended and did tortuously interfere, with and destroy the business relationships of Plaintiff Corsi with Dr. David Jones, Alex Jones and Infowars, thereby severely damaging Dr. Corsi,” Mr. Klayman asserted.
Neither Mr. Roig-Franzia nor representatives for the Post immediately returned messages seeking comment.
Mr. Corsi has said that he has rejected an offer from the special counsel’s office to plead guilty to a count of perjury related to lying to investigators about his conversations during the 2016 race regarding WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange. He said that Mr. Stone emailed him telling him to “get to” Mr. Assange in London and secure access to Democratic material slated to be related by WikiLeaks, and that he subsequently forwarded that message to Ted Malloch, another former Trump campaign adviser, prior to deleting that email and others.
Russian hackers sourced the Democratic material released by WikiLeaks during the race, according to U.S. intelligence officials. Mr. Corsi, Mr. Stone and Mr. Malloch have also previously denied colluding with Russian in the act.
Mr. Corsi is seeking $1.35 million in damages, according to the lawsuit, including $800 million from Mr. Bezos, the world’s richest man, or 5 percent of his reported net worth.