Conservative author Jerome Corsi yesterday filed a “criminal and ethics complaint” against Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team trying to coerce him into giving “false testimony” against President Trump. The filing was reportedly sent to a scattershot list of addresses including Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz, D.C.’s U.S. Attorney Jessie Liu and the Bar Disciplinary Counsel. There is no strong legal basis for such a challenge. If Corsi is charged, he is likely to be charged for alleged false statements and courts rarely explore the motivations in bringing otherwise valid criminal charges. The filing appears designed for public consumption before any indictment is brought against him.
The 78-page document declares that “Dr. Corsi has been criminally threatened and coerced to tell a lie and call it the truth.” He alleges that prosecutors wanted him to state that he acted as a liaison between Stone and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to implication the Trump campaign by extension through Stone. To forcer him to give false testimony, Corsi alleges, Mueller’s office is now “knowingly and deceitfully threatening to charge Dr. Corsi with an alleged false statement.”
If Corsi is indicted as he has predicted, his counsel could be hit with a gag order on public statements. This filing could be intended to get the full record out to the public before any charge.
It is very difficult for any office to act on an allegation based on interviews with prosecutors, particularly before any charge has been brought. Prosecutors and police will often push witnesses with accusations and demands. However, if the charge is based on independent grounds, courts are leery of speculating on motive. After all, if Mueller’s team truly believes that Corsi was a critical player with Wikileaks, they are allowed to press a witness on that theory.