A conservative writer and associate of Trump confidant Roger Stone said Friday that he is in plea talks with special counsel Robert Mueller's team. Jerome Corsi told the AP he has been negotiating a potential plea but declined to comment further. He said on a YouTube show earlier this month that he expected to be charged with lying to federal investigators, though he said at the time that he was innocent of wrongdoing. Mueller's team questioned Corsi as part of an investigation into Stone's connections with WikiLeaks. American intelligence agencies have assessed that Russia was the source of hacked material released by WikiLeaks during the 2016 election that damaged Hillary Clinton's campaign. Mueller's office is trying to determine whether Stone and other associates of President Trump had advance knowledge of WikiLeaks' plans.
The confirmation of plea talks—first reported by the Washington Post—comes as Mueller's team has just received fresh information from Trump personally and as federal prosecutors in Virginia recently inadvertently disclosed the existence of sealed charges against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. It's unclear if the charges against Assange are related to Mueller's investigation, but WikiLeaks was singled out in an indictment last summer against a group of Russian intelligence officers accused of carrying out the wide-ranging hack of Clinton's campaign and other Democratic organizations. It's also not known if any plea by Corsi signals a new raft of charges by the special counsel or just that investigators are aggressively pursuing cases against people they believe made false statements to investigators. (The Assange development was revealed accidentally.)