Are Mueller and Matt Whitaker Already Battling over Immunity or a Plea Deal for Jerome Corsi?

From the very first reporting on Jerome Corsi’s testimony to Robert Mueller, his lawyer hinted that he may have been invited — but declined — to engage in criminal activity with Roger Stone.

Gray said he was confident that Corsi has done nothing wrong. “Jerry Corsi made decisions that he would not take actions that would give him criminal liability,” he added, declining to elaborate.

Asked if Corsi had opportunities to take such actions, Gray said, “I wouldn’t say he was offered those opportunities. I would say he had communications with Roger Stone. We’ll supply those communications and be cooperative. My client didn’t act further that would give rise to any criminal liability.”

Yesterday on his broadcast, Corsi seemed a lot less certain that he has avoided legal jeopardy.

He billed the broadcast as a historic one and made it clear it was all about Mueller, even while he feigned that he was not commenting on Mueller. He announced he would not broadcast Friday, because he’d be with his lawyers, and suggested he might not broadcast Monday. He invoked both Stone and Alex Jones in his comments. Chuck Ross laid out some of this here, including that he invoked Jeremiah 20:11, presumably as a veiled attack on Mueller.

But the Lord is with me as a mighty terrible one; therefore my persecutors shall stumble, and they shall not prevail; they shall be greatly ashamed; for they shall not prosper; their everlasting confusion shall never be forgotten,

Corsi also invokes Jesus’ superior access to truth before Pontius Pilate.

What Ross doesn’t lay out — but I have — is that Roger Stone’s excuses for his “Podesta time in a barrel” comments seem to be a retroactive excuse for some attacks he and Corsi made on John Podesta that seem to reflect some pre-knowledge that the Podesta emails Russia leaked in October 2016 would include information on Podesta’s ties to Joule Unlimited. Corsi returned to the attack in October 2016 even before WikiLeaks started releasing the emails and Stone adopted without showing signs of reading the emails he relied on. The awareness that the Podesta dump would include emails on Joule seems to date back to mid-August 2016, precisely the period when Stone (and his associate, Lee Stranahan) were first engaging with Guccifer 2.0, and it happened just two weeks after Stone flipflopped on his claimed beliefs about who did the DNC hack.

So, in his broadcast, Corsi suggests something about his two month cooperation with Mueller coming to a head, and he may have been the means by which Stone knew of what the Podesta emails included ahead of time. But with all that, Corsi’s lawyer suggests Stone is the one with the really serious exposure.

It may be that Mueller is pressuring Corsi to cop a plea deal. That might explain two months of close work with Mueller’s team. But Corsi’s concerns about his immediate future may, instead, suggest that Mueller has immunized Corsi, because if he refused to testify about something having immunity, then he could be jailed right away.

As I’ve laid out, in the hearing on Andrew Miller’s challenge yesterday, Michael Dreeben seemed to be arguing about which actions Mueller could take without getting Matt Whitaker’s approval first.

Prosecutors do this all the time. They seek immunity. They make plea agreements,. They bring indictments.

[snip]

We have to get approval requires just like US Attorneys do. If we want to subpoena a member of the media, or if we want to immunize a witness, we’re encouraged if we’re not sure what the policy or practice is, to consult with the relevant officials in the Department of Justice. If we wanted to appeal an adverse decision, we would have to get approval of the Solicitor General of the United States. So we’re operating within that sort of supervisory framework.

While none of those issues pertain to Miller, all of them might apply to Corsi, including the subpoena for a journalist. To prevent any of these actions — immunizing a witness, making a plea agreement, or even bringing indictments — Whitaker would have to deem them “so inappropriate or unwarranted under established Departmental practices that it should not be pursued.”

Perhaps Corsi is praying that Whitaker will rescue him from Mueller-as-Pontius Pilate by deeming that conspiring with Russian assets to attack a political opponent is totally normal?

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40 replies
  1. Prairie Boy says:

    So if he pleads guilty and gets prison time, can someone please point out to him that the reference to “persecutors” in Jeremiah 20:11 was probably about Corsi’s persecution of the birther conspiracy? Then again, given the “everlasting confusion”, I doubt he would see the irony.

  2. Rusharuse says:

    FWIW – My Jesus looks nothing like Jerry Corsi. My guy is more Max von Sydow with just a hint of “Doc” from Back to the Future.

  3. Trip says:

    Does all of this wrangling leave out the possibility of Indictment Friday? Because we all could use some Indictment Friday.

  4. Peterr says:

    I’ll see Corsi’s Jeremiah 21, and raise him Amos 5, who notes that for some folks, “God is with me” is not good news:

    14 Seek good and not evil, that you may live; and so the LORD, the God of hosts, will be with you, just as you have said. 15 Hate evil and love good, and establish justice in the gate; it may be that the LORD, the God of hosts, will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph. 16 Therefore thus says the LORD, the God of hosts, the Lord: In all the squares there shall be wailing; and in all the streets they shall say, “Alas! alas!” They shall call the farmers to mourning, and those skilled in lamentation, to wailing; 17 in all the vineyards there shall be wailing, for I will pass through the midst of you, says the LORD. 18 Alas for you who desire the day of the LORD! Why do you want the day of the LORD? It is darkness, not light; 19 as if someone fled from a lion, and was met by a bear; or went into the house and rested a hand against the wall, and was bitten by a snake. 20 Is not the day of the LORD darkness, not light, and gloom with no brightness in it? 21 I hate, I despise your festivals, and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies. 22 Even though you offer me your burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them; and the offerings of well-being of your fatted animals I will not look upon. 23 Take away from me the noise of your songs; I will not listen to the melody of your harps. 24 But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.

    Be careful what you ask for, Jerome.

    • Eureka says:

      Metaphorical rejoinder, if god or Bobby Three Sticks takes those (from Coolio’s Gangsta’s Paradise*):

      Look at the situation they got me facin’
      I can’t live a normal life, I was raised by the streets
      So I gotta be down with the hood team
      Too much television watching got me chasing dreams

       

      Power and the money, money and the power
      Minute after minute, hour after hour
      Everybody’s running, but half of them ain’t looking
      What’s going on in the kitchen, but I don’t know what’s cookin’
      They say I gotta learn, but nobody’s here to teach me
      If they can’t understand it, how can they reach me

      *Turns out the Stevie Wonder song on which this is based also has inspired a Russian’s Paradise (?) I can’t find it, though.

      • Eureka says:

        This was my favorite line from the post:

        He invoked both Stone and Alex Jones

        It’s also what got me going on the satiric inverted rap battle plea with Amos.

        Nothing but respect for MY baby jeebuses!

        • oldoilfieldhand says:

          Archimedes? Been to your tomb.

          Are righteous indignations merited exclusively, literally bemoaning everyone’s reason?

            • Eureka says:

              ———————————
              PROGRAMMING NOTE:
              As far as I know, oldoilfieldhand and I are friendly rap battling the post, several characters deep here.  But I just read a comment thread about how it’s hard to understand the tone of comments, and the need for ;) and lols and such, which is true.  Since there aren’t any lols in rap battles but for on the sidelines, just to make clear we are having fun: ;).
              ——————————–

    • orionATL says:

      i think the poetic old prophet amos was really a good democrat, maybe the first dem:

      “…some of [amos’] main teachings are:

      Prayers and sacrifices do not make up for bad deeds. “Practice of religious acts is no insurance against the judgment of God” and that “privilege involves opportunity, or escap-ism…Immunity cannot be claimed simply because of past favor of God, irrespective of deeds and the measure of faithful service.”[9]

      Behaving justly is much more important than ritual (Amos 5:21–24). “Ceremonial worship has no intrinsic value…the only genuine service of God consists in justice and righteousness (5:24)”.[11]

      Amos believed in economic justice, “the conviction of Amos that economic justice was necessary to preserve the nation (whereas his opponents asserted that sacrifices and offerings were preserving it) forced him to conclude that a God who wanted the nation preserved must want justice and want it always, and could never therefore want sacrifices, which abetted and condoned injustice.”[10]”

      Amos was an uncompromising monotheist. There is not a verse in his writing that admits the existence of other deities.”[11]

      The relationship between the people of Israel is articulated to be a moral contract. If the people of Israel fall below the moral requirements of God, then their relationship will certainly be dissolved….” (miss wiki).

      amos 5:23,5:24
      “… 23 Take thou away from me the noise of thy songs; for I will not hear the melody of thy viols. 24 But let judgement run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream…”
      King James Version

      the latter part of this quote was used in martin luther king’s “i have a dream speech” and is carved in the fountain in front of the civil rights memorial in montgomery alabama supported by the southern poverty law center:

      https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g30712-d1861816-Reviews-Civil_Rights_Memorial_Center-Montgomery_Alabama.html#photos;aggregationId=101&albumid=101&filter=7&ff=308660087

      read it:

      https://www.usconstitution.net/dream.html

  5. Trip says:

    Coupla things…

    Is this Rudy again, or true?

    ABC News‏Verified account @ABC

    NEW: Talks between special counsel Robert Mueller and former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort have grown increasingly tense over Manafort’s apparent lack of cooperation with the investigation, multiple sources tell @ABC. https://twitter.com/ABC/status/1060983932462776321

    Also this, submitted without comment:
    Mike Levine‏Verified account @MLevineReports

    Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein just called Matt Whitaker “a superb choice for attorney general,” saying Whitaker “certainly understands the work, understands the priorities of the department.” Then I asked him if he’s worried at all about the Mueller probe. He walked off.
    https://twitter.com/MLevineReports/status/1061000429058867201

    • Avattoir says:

      Comey called Rosenstein “a survivor”. Praising Whitaker is an obvious pander to Toad. Walking away from a question the answer to which risks aggravating Toad is a survivor’s move – and does nothing to assist Whitaker in the numerous objections he already faces and the many challenges to him that already are piling up – including, as a Wall Street Journal piece has it today, an active FBI file looking into Whitaker’s role in a recent corporate scam:

      https://www.wsj.com/articles/fbi-is-investigating-florida-company-where-whitaker-was-advisory-board-member-1541799564

      which, given Whitaker’s ’employment history’ since he was an inept federal prosecutor in Iowa for a spell back in the aughts, may well prove simply one among a series of dominoes headed towards Whitaker.

      Sad!

      • Trip says:

        The link has a paywall, but do you think, or did it say that the FBI investigation went toward background check for security clearance, rather than for a criminal investigation? Because after reading EoH and cat herder’s comments, I’m not feeling all that certain that there will be a stopgap.

      • greengiant says:

        Going with the “disposable” AG with one mission to destroy Mueller and then be disposed of like a used condom.

      • orionATL says:

        as predicted, trump got what he wanted from rosenstein during their chummy little fly down to florida. trump is never chummy with anybody who does not give him what he wants. what was that? keeping on as deputy attorney general? a double-sided move knowing mueller was nearly finished? inside info on whittaker’s tenure at doj?

  6. earlofhuntingdon says:

    I’m interested in how, with Whitaker’s questionable background – his dark money funded foundation, his work for a criminal patent/invention fraud scam – he acquired the top level security clearance that would be needed to act as US Attorney General, or even as his COS.

    Did the Don pixie dust away those obvious problems and grant his clearance?  Is Whitaker operating without one or a temporary one, and if so, how could he do the work or be briefed on Mueller’s investigation?

    And Trump obviously knows Whitaker, despite his clumsy false denials.  He would not have gone through the effort – nor would he take the political heat – to replace Sessions, only to find that his new guy, too, recuses himself because it’s the right thing to do.  Trump would have wanted to know the guy, to look him in the eye, and to demand his unqualified loyalty.

    What’s the upside for Whitaker?  (Surely, he knows by now that Trump does not keep his promises?)  He’s not likely to remain acting AG long.  He’s unlikely to get Senate confirmation, so another dose of wingnut welfare must be in the offing.

    • cat herder says:

      Unlikely to get Senate confirmation? Wasn’t it just a few short weeks ago when that guy showed up for a hearing drunk, red-faced, throwing handfuls of his own shit at anything that moved, and he got confirmed by the Senate? What makes this particular sack of shit any less qualified than any of the other sacks of shit this admin has put up?

      I have this quote from Avasarala in Babylon’s Ashes stuck in my head for, oh, the past 2+ years:
      “My life has become a single, ongoing revelation that I haven’t been cynical enough.”

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        The GOP might have two more seats in the Senate, but this appointment is not one of nine judges, it’s to be Attorney General.  Its impact would be dramatic, but more immediate and wide-ranging.  It would be seen as another pair of hands for the small ones worn by the Don.

        Unlike Kavanaugh, who appeared qualified but wasn’t, Whitaker is also obviously unqualified to be Attorney General, even an acting one.

        Whitaker needs a game plan that has him do his thing and then move on quickly, before too much shit hits the fan.  If he wants to be a federal judge in Iowa, that’ll be a fight and he’ll have to make that move quickly, before who he is becomes too apparent.  That would require more finesse and timing than Trump’s administration normally exhibits.

  7. Geoff says:

    Speaking of the AG that the Orange Menace doesn’t know, did you know who had his job as Chief of Staff to Sessions before he had it? Well, I didn’t know either, and it wasn’t that easy to figure out. But I found it eventually :

    http://nafusa.org/2017/10/matt-whitaker-named-ags-chief-of-staff/

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jody_Hunt

    As you read through his bio, it sure doesn’t seem like he’d be the kind of guy that you would find working in the Session’s office, but then again, it mostly sticks to the resume points, so it doesn’t tell you much about what he really thinks (though one might infer that a clerkship for an Alabama judge says a certain something.)  It does make it clear however, that someone gave Trump the bright idea to move this guy out of that office via a promotion he’d likely enjoy, and thus open the way to install the cueball Whitaker there as a mole/stooge.

    Now a guy like Whitaker would easily be sold to Trump as a loyal foot soldier, and that is all he would need to know to give the A-OK. But the people behind installing him there may have had much more complex motives that we are seeing now. I wonder which of those people are so simpleminded as to not think through the problems with Whitaker that have been uncovered in just a couple of days. From Whitaker’s own statements, it appears he knew early on the reason he was working in this capacity for Sessions had to do directly with the move that was made on Wednesday to make him acting AG. The person behind this move would have been someone who thought they could get rid of Sessions back in late 2017, maybe someone like Miller, who is Session’s buddy. But more rational heads probably realized Sessions couldnt be tossed until the Senate was a sure thing.

    • Mark says:

      I am skeptical Geoff; your analysis is well presented but I just do not see that these people are capable of that much planning and forethought.  Whitaker was hired into the DoJ August of 2017, and the SCO investigation started only in May, so basically at the time nobody knew what the depth or breadth of the investigation would become, and it strikes me as not plausible that they would hire this has been attorney, with a background that should have disqualified him to be a janitor in the Robert F. Kennedy Building, into the DoJ as a mole for later use as possible hit man against Mueller.  If they had thought the investigation would still be going strong in November of 2018, 15 months after Whitaker’s hire, they likely would have concluded that there was very little any of them could do to avoid jail.  It is easy to see them acting with false bravado and confidence after all this time given hindsight and their own propaganda, but back then they would have been looking to a very uncertain future where only they knew what crimes they had committed and where the bodies were buried in the commission of those crimes.  They had to assemble what would be a world class cover up for what might well be the greatest conspiracy in recorded history.   They were scrambling on a daily basis to put out brush fires and not thinking ahead to next year or 14 months hence, about how to stack the DoJ with a hired gun that probably would be considered an illegal appointment anyway.

      This just does not make sense to me at all.  His appointment is so legally dodgy, his past so checkered that the only explanation is Tsar Cheato will hire anyone who he thinks is loyal and will break the law for him, well, we already knew that was true but by degrees, this is so far beyond what even a completely corrupt administration would have expected to be able to fly.

      This turn of events strikes me as a dark moment for the nation, it says that they intend to win no matter what, that there are no limits to what they will try in order to survive.  Emptywheel, Palmer Report, DB, Vox, Slate, Vanity Fair, all the good outlets for news about russiagate, they all have one thing in common, absolute faith that the law will eventually deliver justice.  That truth will win and the beast will be removed to no longer harm the republic.

      I was optimistic of that as well.  But, as the years sail by and the nation has become unrecognizable, and the corrupt man has become the corrupt party, and whole states filled with them, violent, threatening, well I just do not see how we are going to get this foul thing out of power.  I think the law will not do it, he will destroy nations, the world before he will abide by the law and lose.  Even if we do manage to pry his cold dead hands off the constitution and the Treasury will it not prove to have been a Pyrrhic victory?   We will have won but the nation so wasted and destroyed from his tenure we will not survive it long.  Because for one thing I do not see our homegrown racist, nationalist, fascist, neo Nazi (let’s just call them deplorables) shrugging and walking away from their last grasp at power.

      This investigation is no longer a pass the popcorn spectator sport, it is a long and demoralizing slog through corruption that seems to breed faster than the law can deal with.

  8. Rusharuse says:

    Cross between Butterbean, Shrek and the Stay Puft monster – all the ingredients for the perfect Trump stooge.

    • Tracy says:

      It’s about time they figured that out – no way he is really cooperating if he is still in that JDA with ~30 others, spilling all the beans to Ghouliani and not implicating Trump.

      Didn’t I see an old clip of Whitaker on one of the news shows saying that Manafort wasn’t really “cooperating” so much as being “helpful,” and that Trump was in no trouble there?

      It’s all very perplexing! and stress-inducing!

      BTW – this is the story? – makes me wonder if Manafort’s “cooperation” was merely to feed info back to Trump and lock down that pardon.

      https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/tensions-rising-mueller-manafort-level-cooperation-sources/story?id=59086047

  9. Avattoir says:

    This WPM scam is bad enough, but using your former USa status to bully a complainant (one who had a totally legit complaint, it turned out), plus failing to produce info & materials to the FTC on demand (using the excuse you’re off to see the Wizard, the wonderful Wizard of DoJ, to be the Wizard’s CoS), all together … it’s too much, even without going anywhere near all the conflicts and lies he & Toad both have issued PUBLICLY about their relationship.
    If I’m Rosenstein, I’m shopping for a faux Rolex & boning up my routine nice nice words about a retiring fellow DoJo … ‘Matt’s superb career at DoJ was cut sadly short by his resignation at the specific request of the WH CoS (Sad!’). But he leaves behind a legacy of no scandals, no office controversies, no memories at all, no memos, really nothing … did we get his parking card, Edwina?’

    • Eureka says:

      With any hope, he’ll go on to drain some more dark money accounts rather than the taxpayers and norm-morals of Iowa (I saw your account of that botched case where jurors wanted to formally complain against him).

      • Mark says:

        He ruined a mans life with prosecutorial misconduct that SHOULD have landed him in prison, his victim is still paying off the lawyers for the defense.  That is not supposed to be able to happen in America, at least not unless you are poor.

  10. orionATL says:

    on jerome corsi, the red-faced, rabbitt-toothed republican crackpot with his tail caught in a crack:

    “… [corsi] invoked Jeremiah 20:11, presumably as a veiled attack on Mueller.

    But the Lord is with me as a mighty terrible one; therefore my persecutors shall stumble, and they shall not prevail; they shall be greatly ashamed; for they shall not prosper; their everlasting confusion shall never be forgotten,

    Corsi also invokes Jesus’ superior access to truth before Pontius Pilate…”

    well damn, i was going to, but this guy beat me to it, and says it better:

    “The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.
    An evil soul producing holy witness
    Is like a villain with a smiling cheek,
    A goodly apple rotten at the heart.
    O, what a goodly outside falsehood hath!”
    ― William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice

    taken from : https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/428072-the-devil-can-cite-scripture-for-his-purpose-an-evil

  11. oldoilfielshand says:

    Not for nothing, but has everyone noticed how well the reply button is working lately? Thanks Rayne, Bmaz and all!

    • orionATL says:

      and i add my heartfelt thanks.

      nothing makes a terrible typist look like he belongs in decent company better than a 5-minute edit button that just keeps on aticking.**

      ** see, i just had to use it to change an erroneous 4 to a 5.

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