Jerome Corsi is used to being called a ‘conspiracy theorist’. He doesn’t mind. He tells Cockburn that the term was popularized by the CIA after Kennedy was assassinated. ‘Anybody who questioned whether Oswald did it was a conspiracy theorist. I don’t think Lee Harvey Oswald fired a single shot. Oswald was set up. It was the CIA and the mob.’ He goes on: ‘I’m deeply suspicious of whatever the government tells me. Democrats, Republicans…doesn’t make any difference: they all lie. I don’t take any of it at face value. If that makes me a conspiracy theorist, well, so be it.’ Was 9/11 an inside job? Were the moon landings faked? Dr Corsi – he has a PhD in political science from Harvard – says he hasn’t done enough research to know for sure. But he is certain about what he believes is the mother-of-all-conspiracies: the ‘deep state’s’ fabrication of a Russia scandal in order to overturn the result of the Presidential election.
He says he’s one of the victims of that ‘conspiracy’ and believes that, at 72, he might die in jail. This is because during the campaign he spoke to his friend, the recently arrested Roger Stone, about whether WikiLeaks would release more Democratic party emails to damage Hillary Clinton – emails the US intelligence agencies say were hacked by the Russians. After the election, the government turned up at his door and asked him to be a witness. In his version of events, he refused to lie and is now almost certain to face perjury charges. He describes his ordeal in a new book, Silent No More: How I Became a Political Prisoner of Mueller’s Witch Hunt. ‘The United States under the Deep State masters has begun to descend into a political hell that I previously thought could only happen under Hitler’s Gestapo, Stalin’s KGB, or Mao’s Cultural Revolution.’ He tells Cockburn he’s going to fight back – all the way to the US Supreme Court if necessary.
Corsi was the Washington bureau chief for Infowars, the conspiracy theorist’s website of choice. Before the Mueller investigation came into being, he had written another book, called Killing the Deep State: The Fight to Save President Trump. In it he described the enemy. ‘The Deep State operates secretly in cooperation with the Federal Reserve, the Comptroller of the Currency, as well as federal law enforcement agencies including the FBI and the DOJ to allow the Deep State to pursue clandestine operations, including illicit drug dealing and supplying weapons to terrorist groups, that further the New World Order.’
He tells Cockburn: ‘The bureaucracy – especially parts of Justice, the IRS, the CIA, the State Department – they’ve gotten a lot of the young leftists trained in the universities who are globalists, believe in no borders, really have a very socialist view of the world, and they are entrenched in these institutions, combined with some who have learned how to be the establishment in Washington: the Comey, Rosenstein, Mueller clique. This establishment – the GOP as well as Democrats – have learned to live on the largesse of the public and do very well for themselves, maintaining the status quo.’ This is similar to the description of the ‘deep state’ by a well known left-wing writer, Camille Paglia, in the Spectator. ‘The deep state is no myth but a sodden, intertwined mass of bloated, self-replicating bureaucracy that constitutes the real power in Washington and that stubbornly outlasts every administration.’ In Silent No More, Corsi writes that he and his wife ‘had long been afraid my writing on the political right would land me in prison. Her fears and mine intensified as Deep State moved to convert the federal government into an Orwellian surveillance state where people could be punished or executed for their political views.’ Still, when Mueller’s agents rapped on his front door, Corsi agreed to cooperate by coming in to answer their questions. That seemed an odd thing to do if he really thought the Deep State was out to get him.
He replies that even though he knew Mueller’s prosecutors were ‘politically motivated deep-state actors’ he still wanted to believe ‘that the justice system of the United States isn’t this corrupt…I’d done nothing wrong and I knew I had nothing wrong.’ He writes in Silent No More that they took him to a ‘windowless room’ in a government building. ‘The grand inquisitors put on angry faces and began yelling at me, in increasingly strident tones, reminding me I could be sent to prison for giving the FBI false information…Mueller insisted upon playing this stupid interrogation game worthy of the Gestapo, the KGB, or the Red Guard under Mao…I felt like I was a US soldier captured in the Korean War being interrogated by the communist Chinese.’
But, I say to Corsi, there was real evidence against him. You can read it in a leaked ‘statement of the offense’ by Mueller’s team. If he is charged with perjury, it will be because he ‘forgot’ to tell the prosecutors about an email he sent to Stone that said: ‘Word is friend in embassy plans 2 more dumps. One shortly after I’m back. 2nd in Oct. Impact planned to be very damaging…’ The ‘friend in embassy’ was Julian Assange of WikiLeaks. Surely that email showed he had been in touch with WikiLeaks? He disagrees. Every since he was a kid, he says, he’s been brilliant at deductive reasoning. He was so brilliant that no one would believe it and he had to find other ways to explain whatever he’d come up with. In 2016, he says he figured out that WikiLeaks was about to publish emails belonging to Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta, and used the phrase ‘Word is’ convince Stone that the information was real.
This explanation infuriated Mueller’s prosecutors. Corsi, who is a religious man, says one of the prosecutors, Jeannie Rhee, shouted that he expected them to believe there’d been a divine intervention. ‘And by the grace of God it was magically revealed to you that Assange had Podesta’s emails.’ They were trying to get him to admit that he was a backchannel between WikiLeaks and the Russians on the one hand, and Stone and the Trump campaign on the other. ‘Their whole ploy was to judge that I was old and scared and frightened by this process and would do anything not to go to prison, including pleading to something I didn’t do. And that was completely a miscalculation of who I am.’
He says that Mueller is desperate to get President Trump impeached but does not – cannot – find the evidence: ‘Mueller doesn’t have a crime. Collusion by itself is not a crime. They can maybe define it into a crime by some other statutes. But he hasn’t done that. That’s the exact opposite way you do an investigation. What my experience shows is that this was an investigation looking for facts that fit their narrative. And when they couldn’t get their narrative, they became abusive, trying to put you in prison for the rest of your life. They stand up and stomp out of the room. They start doing all kinds of abusive interrogation techniques. That’s not the United States of America.’
So he has rejected Mueller’s plea deal and is suing for $350m. He expects the government to try to strike down his lawsuit early on but says he will take it to the Appeals Court and then to the Supreme Court. He does not expect the dark forces ranged against him and the President to surrender easily. In Killing the Deep State, he writes: ‘Should the Deep State fail to remove Trump from office through impeachment or a charge under the 25th Amendment that he is mentally incompetent, “executive action” – a CIA plan to assassinate Trump – is the Deep State’s last resort.’
Corsi tells me that Trump ‘needs to be very well protected’. He should have the military ‘around him’ as well as the Secret Service. ‘Certainly, Jack Kennedy’s case proved the need to have multiple agencies involved.’ But he says he thinks the President will survive – politically and otherwise – until the next election and then the Democrats won’t have anyone to beat him. ‘I’ve always said about Donald Trump, he always looks like he’s going to lose until just before he wins.’
As for Dr Corsi himself, if he is charged with perjury, it is hard to predict how his story of a lone, principled man fighting a corrupt government will play with a jury listening to evidence from a hard-nosed Mueller prosecutor. But in Silent No More, Corsi says he isn’t worried. He has been rereading Orwell’s 1984. ‘Finding this book at this time seemed to be almost a miracle, as if God was sending me a message to continue the battle against Mueller’s role in the Deep State coup d’état against President Trump.’ The very last sentence in Silent No More reads: ‘IN THE END, GOD ALWAYS WINS! I am with God. Are you?’
More of Dr Corsi’s interview with Cockburn later this week, including how he fell out with Roger Stone.