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Renato Mariotti @renato_mariotti
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THREAD: What should we make of Jerome Corsi's statements rejecting a plea deal he claims he was offered by Mueller?
1/ This morning Corsi, an associate of Roger Stone, claimed that he has rejected a plea deal offered by Mueller's team, in which he was asked to plead guilty to one count of perjury. Corsi claims that any false statements were due to a faulty memory. cnn.com/2018/11/26/pol…
2/ That is a standard defense raised when someone is charged with perjury or making a false statement. Typically when this is is charged, prosecutors have evidence that proves the defendant remembered the truth or that would make it implausible that the defendant forgot.
3/ That's because they must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Corsi "knowingly and willfully" made a false statement. Corsi claims *that* is what he is unwilling to admit. The requirement that prosecutors prove a defendant knowingly lied is why perjury can be hard to prove.
4/ If Corsi is telling the truth that he was told he will be charged and that he was offered a plea deal, we can expect Mueller to indict him soon. In this context, Mueller wouldn't tell Corsi he would be charged if that was not imminent.
5/ Contrary to Corsi's claims, however, none of this is unusual. Federal prosecutors often pressure potential witnesses to plead guilty if they believe they can prove that the witness committed a crime. Mueller likely believes that Corsi could be a valuable witness against Stone.
6/ If Corsi believes he is not guilty, he shouldn't plead guilty. But Mueller's team has either already told Corsi's attorney the evidence they believe proves his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, or would likely do so if asked. He is taking a big risk by daring Mueller to charge.
7/ No matter what, Corsi has made a major error by discussing all of this publicly. His words can be used against him by Mueller. Corsi should stay silent and let his lawyer negotiate with Mueller's team privately. None of this helps him legally, but I guess it sells books. /end
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