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Special counsel Robert Mueller departs after briefing members of the Senate on his investigation into potential collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. Photo by Joshua Roberts/Reuters

Associate of Roger Stone in plea talks with Mueller

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — 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 Associated Press he has been negotiating a potential plea but declined to comment further. He said on a YouTube show last week that he expected to be charged with lying to federal investigators, though he said at the time that he was innocent of wrongdoing.

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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 Donald Trump had advance knowledge of WikiLeaks’ plans.

The Washington Post first reported on Corsi’s plea negotiations.

Corsi, the former Washington bureau chief of the conspiracy theory outlet InfoWars, cooperated with the probe for about two months, turning over two computers and a cell phone and providing the FBI access to his email accounts and tweets.

But he said talks with investigators recently had “blown up.”

“I fully anticipate that in the next few days, I will be indicted by Mueller,” he said last week, as he made a pitch for donations to his legal defense fund.

Stone, who also has said he is prepared to be indicted, has denied being a conduit for WikiLeaks, which published thousands of emails stolen from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta in the weeks before the election.

In a telephone interview with the AP earlier this month, Stone said: “I had no advanced notice of the source or content or the exact timing of the release of the WikiLeaks disclosures.”

He told AP in a separate statement Friday, “It is clear from his recent videos and his recent interviews that my friend Dr. Corsi has been under a tremendous amount of pressure and it is beginning to affect him profoundly. He has stated publicly that he is being asked over and over to say things he simply does not believe occurred.”

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