Jerome Corsi, an ally of Roger Stone, says special counsel Robert Mueller offered him a plea deal on one count of perjury related to statements about his contact with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Corsi says he plans to reject the deal.
"They want me to say I willfully lied. I did not intentionally lie to (the) special counsel," Corsi told NBC News.
Corsi said he initially told Mueller's team in early September that he had no recollection of being in communication with Assange in the lead-up to WikiLeaks releasing thousands of emails stolen from Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta. But Corsi said he amended his testimony in a November interview after Mueller's investigators presented him with a binder of his emails from 2016.
Corsi insisted that he had forgotten "almost everything about emails in 2016" when he first spoke to Mueller’s investigators.
"I will not lie to save my life," Corsi said. "I'd rather sit in prison and rot for as long as these thugs want me to."
A spokesman for Mueller’s office declined to comment. Corsi's lawyer, David Gray, also declined to comment.
Mueller's office spent two months investigating whether Corsi learned before the public that WikiLeaks had obtained emails hacked by Russian intelligence officers — and whether he passed information about the stolen emails to Stone, a former Trump campaign adviser, multiple sources have told NBC News.
Stone has repeatedly denied any collusion with Wikileaks and has defended Corsi as someone who is under "a tremendous amount of pressure" from Mueller's team.
"If Dr. Corsi knew that John Podesta's emails had been obtained by anyone and would be published he never shared this information with me, nor did he give me any such documents," he said in a statement on Friday.