The Judiciary | Media Matters for America

The Judiciary

Issues ››› The Judiciary
  • Roger Stone’s Infowars co-host attacks judge overseeing Stone’s criminal case

    Stone is under a gag order that prohibits him from commenting on the case or directing others to do so

    Blog ››› ››› TIMOTHY JOHNSON

    Infowars host Owen Shroyer attacked Judge Amy Berman Jackson by alleging that she won’t give Infowars host and Trump confidant Roger Stone a fair trial because she is involved in covering up “the crimes of Barack Obama.”

    Shroyer and Stone are co-hosts on the Infowars program War Room, although Stone stopped making his regular appearances on the show after Jackson imposed a gag order on him.

    Stone, who is facing seven felony charges as part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe, was subjected to a gag order by Jackson on February 21 after he posted an image of Jackson next to crosshairs on social media and wrote a caption complaining about the “Obama appointed Judge.” The terms of the gag order prohibit Stone from speaking publicly about his case or Mueller’s investigation, and it additionally prohibits him from commenting on the case “indirectly by having statements made publicly on his behalf by surrogates, family members, spokespersons, representatives, or volunteers.”

    In a clip of War Room posted to Infowars on March 12, Shroyer said that Stone is innocent but that he fears he will be jailed “a politicized judge, nominated by Obama, one of the greatest criminals in American history.” Shroyer went on to add, “You don’t think for one second that judge wants to protect the crimes of Barack Obama?”

    OWEN SHROYER (CO-HOST): Bob Mueller and all these Democrats with Adam Schiff and everybody destroying all these innocent people’s lives, destroying America. They love it. They get off to it. It gets them high. And the average American can’t empathize with that. They don’t even have a scintilla of empathy for that. They couldn’t even comprehend having no remorse, just in cold blood destroying anyone’s life that’s in your way politically. And so, honestly, that’s why it’s so hard for America and for the average human to truly comprehend the evil that we’re dealing with. And the only reason I comprehend it is because I’ve seen it, I’ve studied it, and I now can flesh it out and know every move they make.

    And that’s why I’m afraid my friend Roger Stone, an innocent man, is going to be put in jail by a politicized judge, nominated by Obama, one of the greatest criminals in American history. You don’t think for one second that judge wants to protect the crimes of Barack Obama? I’m trying not to get mad right now. This is when I start screaming. Because America needs to wake the hell up.

    Stone’s Infowars boss, Alex Jones, previously used Infowars to broadcast his own attacks on Jackson. During a February 24 broadcast, he compared Jackson to Hitler and repeated Stone’s pre-gag order catchphrase that he will not “bear false witness against the president.”

  • Alex Jones goes to bat for employee Roger Stone, comparing judge in his criminal case to Hitler and attempting to connect Robert Mueller to Jeffrey Epstein

    Blog ››› ››› TIMOTHY JOHNSON

    Trump confidant Roger Stone is under a gag order concerning his upcoming criminal trial, but his employer Alex Jones’ Infowars outlet is still publicly litigating his case for him.

    Stone, who is a co-host of the Infowars program War Room, was arrested on January 25 and charged with seven felonies as part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. On February 21, Judge Amy Berman Jackson, who is overseeing his case, imposed a near-total gag order on Stone after he posted an image on his Instagram account of her “next to an apparent rifle scope's crosshair.”

    According to the terms of the gag order, Stone is prohibited from publicly commenting on “the Special Counsel's investigation or this case or any of the participants in the investigation or the case.” Additionally, the order says that “the defendant [Stone] may not comment publicly about the case indirectly by having statements made publicly on his behalf by surrogates, family members, spokespersons, representatives, or volunteers.”

    Before the gag order was issued, Stone was using his Infowars platform to raise money for his legal defense and publicly litigate his case. During a February 18 appearance on The Alex Jones Show, Stone alleged that his prosecution came about as part of the machinations of a “globalist cabal.” Earlier, on February 8, Stone attacked media pundits talking about his upcoming trial, saying on War Room that he was reveling “in the hatred of these leftist retards.”

    While Stone is now severely limited in what he can publicly say about his case, his boss Alex Jones has taken the lead on Infowars’ defense of Stone. During a February 24 broadcast, Jones compared Judge Jackson to Hitler.

    While complaining about Mueller prosecutor Jeannie Rhee, who is part of the Stone prosecution team, Jones said, “I couldn’t hold a straight face in that judge’s courtroom when Jeannie Rhee is my prosecutor. It’d be like I was a Jew in World War II, hypothetically, and the head judge is Hitler. I’d be like, ‘Dude, you’re Adolf Hitler.’”

    Jones then turned to his guest, attorney Robert Barnes, to promote a conspiracy theory that attempts to connect Mueller to serial child molester Jeffrey Epstein. Epstein is currently in the news because a federal judge recently ruled that Trump Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta violated federal law in 2008 with his actions as a federal prosecutor in “concealing the particulars of Epstein’s [plea] deal from the girls who gave evidence” in his criminal trial.

    Barnes weaved a sloppy conspiracy theory to claim that “the common denominator” between the Epstein, Stone, and former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort cases is Mueller, who is “the deep state fix-it man” and is “still fixing things for the deep state.”

    The Stone and Manafort cases are both, of course, connected to Mueller because they arose from Mueller’s investigation. As for Epstein, Barnes claimed that Epstein was directly giving Mueller “blackmail files” -- presumably related to other alleged perpetrators connected to Epstein's sexual misconduct case -- in 2008 when his plea deal was struck and Mueller was the head of the FBI. In 2018, the FBI disclosed that Epstein “provided information to the FBI,” but there is no indication that Mueller was the recipient of the information. Still, Barnes attempted to conspiratorially cast doubt on Judge Jackson and the legitimacy of the Mueller investigation:

    ROBERT BARNES: So, there is one name that all those stories are connected to -- the Epstein case, the Manafort case, and the Roger Stone case, and interestingly enough it’s the one name that the judge in the Roger Stone case said that Roger Stone can never reference. Not only can he not reference it related to his case -- he can never talk about one name period while his case is pending in court, which could be years. And what name is that? Robert Mueller. And what is Robert Mueller to do with the Epstein case? Guess who was FBI director when that deal was done? Guess who was identified in internal FBI documents -- that were identified by a guy on Twitter called Techno Fog, a famous lawyer, that identified what, that the informant -- an informant for Robert Mueller was Mr. Epstein.

    In other words, he was giving blackmail files, potentially, on a wide range of people to Robert Mueller at the same time the sweetheart deal that broke the rules was being filed on behalf of Epstein. And so while Epstein gets to sit in a sweetheart deal, Paul Manafort’s supposed to go to prison for life. Paul Manafort’s supposed to be the most harshly punished individual in one of the most historied political prosecutions. So Paul Manafort, who has never been accused of anything connected to pedophilia, is going to go to prison for life and rot until he dies, but Epstein, who is running a blackmail ring of underage prostitution, gets to walk. And the only man that they all have in common is Robert Mueller, and it’s the one person the judge said Roger Stone can never talk about, even unrelated to his case. So that’s the common denominator between all three is that the deep state fix-it man is still fixing things for the deep state.

    Jones also defended Stone's Instagram post that got him sanctioned by the court. During his February 21 appearance before the court, Stone had acknowledged the post came about because of a brief lapse in judgement. But Jones stuck with Stone’s initial explanation for the image, describing the crosshair as “a little Celtic cross up in the corner” and showing the image to his viewers. Jones also falsely alleged that Jackson’s gag order prohibits Stone from speaking publicly about Epstein or President Donald Trump.

    Borrowing language that Stone used before he was subjected to the gag order, Jones alleged that Stone is being pressured “to bear false witness against the president” and also addressed Trump directly, saying, “And we can talk about how great Trump is all day, but he’s asleep at the switch. Tweets don’t do it, President; protect us.”

  • Indicted Trump confidant Roger Stone alleges the president is the victim of a “globalist” coup attempt

    Stone links his prosecution to an alleged coup attempt against Trump by a "globalist cabal"

    Blog ››› ››› TIMOTHY JOHNSON

    During an appearance on conspiracy theory outlet Infowars, Roger Stone, a confidant of President Donald Trump, said that the president is the victim of a coup attempt. Stone also tried to delegitimize the Department of Justice (DOJ) and its special counsel office, the federal law enforcement division currently leading a criminal prosecution against Stone.

    During a February 18 appearance on The Alex Jones Show, Stone echoed recent comments made by Trump to allege that the president is the victim of a coup attempt orchestrated by “globalists” (a term historically tied to anti-Semitic sentiment) and the DOJ.

    Stone accused the FBI and DOJ Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein of “open sedition” and “treasonous activity” for a supposed plot to remove Trump from the presidency via the 25th Amendment, claiming the plot was undertaken as revenge for Trump breaking up “the globalist cabal.” (The 25th Amendment establishes a legal mechanism to remove the president from office if a majority of the cabinet secretaries plus the vice president determine he is unfit to serve.)

    Stone also implicated special counsel Robert Mueller’s office -- which is currently overseeing a probe that resulted in Stone’s indictment -- in the supposed coup attempt. Stone claimed that “there was a coup d’etat planned within the highest echelons of the FBI and the Obama Justice Department, and then they actually effectuated it under Donald Trump,” adding, “The Mueller investigation is the outgrowth of that same effort.”

    Stone was arrested on January 25 and charged with seven felonies as part of Mueller’s investigation. According to the charges, Stone lied to Congress about his dealings with WikiLeaks concerning emails hacked by Russia in the 2016 presidential election; obstructed an official proceeding; and intimidated a witness, radio host Randy Credico. Around the same time Stone was alleging on Infowars that there was a coup attempt against Trump, he posted an image to his Instagram account that showed Judge Amy Berman Jackson, who is overseeing his criminal case, next to crosshairs. After getting blowback, Stone deleted the post and submitted a formal apology to the court. Stone, who is currently free on a signature bond, may have his conditions of release modified or revoked because of his post, depending on the outcome of a February 21 hearing.

    Throughout his February 18 Infowars appearance, Stone counseled Trump and flattered him in what seems like a possible attempt to angle for a pardon if he is convicted of the charges against him. Stone highlighted his efforts to counter arguments that Trump is incapacitated, saying, “If he’s so incapacitated, why do we have 4.8 million new jobs, for example?” He also backed Trump’s declaration of a national emergency on the southern border, saying, “Trump is a leader” who is “keeping faith with the very people that voted for him.”

    Stone also advised Trump to take several actions relating to the DOJ, saying, “The president needs to immediately declassify all the information regarding the illicit use of FISA warrants to spy on his campaign, which is where this all began. The president needs to order his new attorney general to appoint a special counsel to examine not only the FISA warrants, but now to examine this illegal coup and to empanel a grand jury to grab those who were involved in it and bring them before that grand jury to begin the indictments for sedition. And lastly, the president needs to appoint a special counsel to examine the crimes of Uranium One.”

    He also painted himself as a victim of the same forces that he claims have entangled Trump, claiming, “I am a victim of the same witch hunt, the same effort that is being put forward to take down the president in an illicit coup is the same witch hunt which has indicted me, that is coming after Alex [Jones], that is running the campaign of censorship against Infowars. It’s all the same people. It’s the same globalist cabal.”

  • Alex Jones is souring on his indicted Infowars employee Roger Stone

    Jones: "Gateway Pundit can hire Roger"

    Blog ››› ››› TIMOTHY JOHNSON

    Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

    Conspiracy theorist and Infowars head Alex Jones is frustrated with Trump confidant Roger Stone because he thinks Stone gave a rival right-wing news outlet an “exclusive” about Stone’s criminal case.

    Stone, who is a co-host of the Infowars program War Room, was arrested on January 25 and charged with seven felonies as part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. The charges allege Stone lied to Congress about his dealings with WikiLeaks concerning emails hacked by Russia in the 2016 presidential election; obstructed an official proceeding; and intimidated a witness, radio host Randy Credico.  

    Following Stone’s arrest, his first media appearance was on Infowars, and he has since appeared regularly on Infowars programs, including the show, War Room, that he co-hosts, to publicly litigate his criminal proceeding and fight with his critics. Stone has expressed fear at the possibility that he will be subject to a gag order and recently described his Infowars platform as “vital” to his criminal defense strategy.

    Now Stone has another problem, as his boss, Jones, has become angered that Stone shared an “exclusive” with far-right website The Gateway Pundit.

    The dispute centers around a February 13 motion filed by Stone’s legal team requesting a hearing concerning Stone’s allegation that the special counsel’s office improperly released Stone’s indictment before it was unsealed. Gateway Pundit was the first media outlet to publish a story about that filing, posting a piece bylined by Stone associate Jacob Engels.

    Discussing the Gateway Pundit story and the motion (which Jones initially mischaracterized as a “lawsuit against Robert Mueller”), a clearly perturbed Jones said during the February 13 broadcast of his show, “I like Roger as a friend, but he doles out exclusives ... some to Fox News, some to Daily Caller, and he works here. I pay his salary. … So I guess Roger Stone’s going to go to the woodshed here pretty soon.”

    Jones went on to say -- possibly facetiously -- that Stone now works for Gateway Pundit. He said, “This is a global exclusive. In the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, filed today, Roger Stone’s motion requesting a show cause order. So it’s on Gateway Pundit. Well that’s good. Gateway Pundit can hire Roger. … In fact, Roger Stone now works for the Gateway Pundit, which is good.”

    An annoyed Jones added, “People call us to find out what Roger’s up to and I just -- I can’t tell you; I don’t know. So Roger Stone now works for the Gateway Pundit, ladies and gentlemen -- seriously, as of about 10 seconds ago. I’m like, ‘Roger, get a job with the Gateway Pundit.’ Because -- here, let me check my other phone. I don’t want to go off half-cocked. Maybe he called this other phone and gave me the exclusive. Nope, doesn’t look like it.”

    Just the day before, Stone had emphasized how important his Infowars platform was to him. During the February 12 broadcast of War Room, Stone said that “one of the main reasons” he was indicted is that he works at Infowars. He went on to say, “I’ve told you about the vital role that Infowars plays in the strategy for my defense. If I can’t come here, if I can’t come on The Alex Jones Show, if I can’t come on the morning show with David Knight, if I can’t come on the War Room, then there’s no forum where I can really go to tell people the complete story about what’s going on.”

    Stone then said, “I guess the best thing to remind everybody is that please go to the Infowars store” to support the outlet’s operation. Then he transitioned into an extended pitch for a supplement called Brain Force that Infowars sells:
     

    ROGER STONE: One of the main reasons I think I’m targeted, Rob [Dew], is because I’m on Infowars. Because I work with you and Alex Jones and [War Room co-host] Owen Shroyer and [Infowars host] David Knight and so many others to bring people the stone cold truth, the unvarnished truth about what’s going on in the struggle against the globalists. And I’ve told you about the vital role that Infowars plays in the strategy for my defense. If I can’t come here, if I can’t come on The Alex Jones Show, if I can’t come on the morning show with David Knight, if I can’t come on the War Room, then there’s no forum where I can really go to tell people the complete story about what is going on. Everywhere else you appear you’re edited, you're censored, you're limited. But here at Infowars nobody tells us what we can and cannot say, nobody tells us what we can and cannot cover. We just go for where the facts lead us. So I guess the best thing to remind everybody is that please go to the Infowars store. It is vitally important that Infowars continue to thrive.  

    On February 13, after Jones complained about Stone giving away exclusives, Stone did not appear in his regular slot on War Room.

    Jones’ attack on Stone is the latest example of infighting at Infowars over Mueller’s investigation. Previously, Jones and Stone teamed up to feud with former Infowars D.C. bureau chief Jerome Corsi. Corsi, who is also entangled in Mueller’s probe of what happened with WikiLeaks, is referenced throughout Stone’s criminal indictment. Jones and Stone have sought to discredit Corsi’s public statements about the probe and in some cases even appear to have attempted to influence how Corsi testifies under oath to Mueller’s grand jury. For his part, Corsi, who is an obvious witness for Stone’s trial, has suggested Stone is guilty of witness tampering because of Stone’s interactions with him. Most recently, Corsi filed a lawsuit against Stone alleging Stone was attempting to induce him to have a heart attack or stroke by causing “emotional distress.”

  • Roger Stone tries to explain his witness tampering charge: I advised Randy Credico to plead the Fifth so his liberal friends wouldn’t get mad at him for helping Trump

    Indictment against Stone says he told Credico to “prepare to die” and threatened to take his therapy dog

    Blog ››› ››› TIMOTHY JOHNSON

    Trump confidant Roger Stone has a laughably innocuous explanation for the actions that led him to be charged with corruptly influencing comedian and radio host Randy Credico’s interactions with the House intelligence committee.

    Prior to his arrest on January 25, Stone was under investigation over whether he had inside information about emails hacked by Russia and then released by WikiLeaks during the 2016 presidential election. Specifically, investigators on special counsel Robert Mueller’s team looked at whether Stone used Credico and conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi (whom Stone is now feuding with) as intermediaries between himself and WikiLeaks.

    Following his arrest, Stone was charged with seven crimes: five counts of making false statements to Congress about his interactions with WikiLeaks, one count of obstructing an official proceeding, and one count of witness tampering for attempting to corruptly persuade Credico, who is referred to throughout the indictment as “Person 2," to provide certain testimony before the House intelligence committee.

    Stone attempted to explain away the witness tampering charge during an appearance on Alex Jones’ Infowars outlet. Stone, who also co-hosts Infowars program War Room, discussed the charge during the show’s January 28 broadcast.

    In Stone’s telling, the repeated attempts documented in the indictment that show him urging Credico to assert his rights against self-incrimination or to lie under oath were merely suggestions to prevent Credico’s liberal friends from getting mad at him for supporting President Donald Trump:

    ROGER STONE: There is a tremendous rush to judgment by attorneys who have never read my entire testimony and therefore can’t see the context of anything. To the extent, for example, Stone told Credico, a witness, to plead the fifth. Yes, when he said, “My left-wing friends, my progressive friends are going to go crazy when [they] find out that I helped you. They’re going to think we helped elect Trump. I don’t know what to do.” To which I said, “Well, you have the option of pleading the fifth.” I didn’t tell him to do it; I said it was possible.

    Stone’s innocent retelling of his interactions with Credico is at odds with the indictment, and it belies reason that Stone was merely helping Credico avoid having his friends become upset with him. What seems more likely is that Stone was worried Credico would implicate him in a crime.

    The indictment includes several instances of Stone urging Credico to assert his right against self-incrimination. According to the indictment, Stone told Credico, “Stonewall it. Plead the fifth. Anything to save the plan,” apparently referencing a statement made by President Richard Nixon while attempting to hinder the Watergate investigation. Stone also repeatedly told Credico to be like Frank Pentangeli, a character in The Godfather: Part II. In the film, Pentangeli, a mobster in the Corleone crime family, lies to a congressional committee about protagonist Michael Corleone's role as the head of that organization, covering up Corleone's own perjury before that committee. (An imprisoned Pentangeli later commits suicide after being assured the Corleones will take care of his family.)

    The indictment shows that Stone later became angry with Credico for repeatedly balking at his advice and exhorting Stone to testify truthfully. Stone called Credico a “rat” and a “stoolie,” threatened to take away his therapy dog, and told him, “Let’s get it on. Prepare to die [expletive].” (In May, Stone explained his “prepare to die” comment to Mother Jones by saying, “He told me he had terminal prostate cancer.”)

    Stone and an Infowars crew traveled to Washington, D.C., for his January 29 arraignment at which Stone pleaded not guilty. The conspiracy theory outlet is using Facebook’s live-streaming feature as its primary counter-messaging measure in Stone’s legal troubles. While Facebook banned several pages associated with Alex Jones last year for repeatedly violating community guidelines, the page for the show Stone co-hosts, War Room, remains active.

  • Fox Business Network has spent months legitimizing toxic conspiracy theorist and Mueller target Jerome Corsi

    Blog ››› ››› TIMOTHY JOHNSON

    Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

    Fox Business Network has given disreputable conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi a prime-time platform to make bizarre and uncorroborated attacks against special counsel Robert Mueller as Mueller’s team investigates whether Corsi had inside information about the release of emails hacked by Russia during the 2016 presidential election.

    Starting in November 2018, when Corsi's legal troubles worsened, Fox Business has hosted Corsi ten times for softball interviews, giving his wild claims a veneer of legitimacy by allowing him to make them on a mainstream conservative network. (Prior to November, the last Corsi appearance on the channel listed in Nexis was in 2011; during that interview he was ridiculed over his book Where's the Birth Certificate?) Corsi and Fox Business hosts have also used his recent appearances to promote a new book he wrote.

    Corsi is a conspiracy theorist best known for serving as the driving force behind the racist “birther” conspiracy theory that targeted former President Barack Obama. He has also pushed other conspiracy theories, including the “Pizzagate” claim and those about the murder of DNC staffer Seth Rich (even though he knew his claims about Rich were untrue). After working at conspiracy theory outlet WND for years, Corsi became the Washington, D.C., bureau chief for Alex Jones’ Infowars in January 2017. Infowars is best known for pushing the conspiracy theories that the 9/11 terror attacks were an “inside job” and that the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting was a hoax. According to Infowars, Corsi was fired for poor performance in June 2018.

    In September 2018, news broke that Corsi had been subpoenaed to testify before Mueller’s grand jury. According to documents he later released himself, Corsi is under investigation over whether he had prior knowledge that WikiLeaks had hacked emails before they were released during the 2016 presidential election. In November, Corsi revealed that Mueller’s team had offered him a deal to plead guilty to lying to the FBI about his WikiLeaks contacts. Corsi said he would reject the plea agreement, and he has since increasingly litigated his case through conservative media.

    Roger Stone, an associate of Corsi’s, was indicted by the special counsel’s office on January 25 on five counts of making false statements and single counts of obstructing an official proceeding and witness tampering. Corsi, who is referred to as “Person 1” in the indictment, is referenced throughout the charging document, which describes his and Stone’s efforts to work with WikiLeaks.

    Since November, Fox Business has been promoting Corsi’s outlandish public efforts to fight back against Mueller. In December, Corsi filed an ethics complaint against Mueller, and later that month, he filed a lawsuit accusing Mueller and several government agencies of violating his civil rights. On January 21, Corsi added The Washington Post to his lawsuit. Corsi is seeking more than $1 billion in damages. As his suit stands currently, Corsi is alleging that Mueller, the Post, the Department of Justice, the CIA, the FBI, and the National Security Agency are all conspiring together to bankrupt him in order to force him to submit false testimony in the Mueller probe.

    Corsi has appeared during prime time on Fox Business ten times since November 2018, according to a search of Nexis. Nine of the appearances have occurred on Trish Regan Primetime, a major platform that has hosted Vice President Mike Pence. The other appearance was on Lou Dobbs Tonight.

    Corsi has used the appearances, all of which were friendly interviews, as a personal soap box, discussing his claims that he wasn’t involved in the WikiLeaks matter, his ethics complaint and lawsuit against Mueller and subsequent addition of The Washington Post to his lawsuit, the allegation that he was involved in a fraudulent cancer fundraising scheme, his unsubstantiated claim that he is being targeted by the Mueller probe because he believes in Jesus Christ, his unsubstantiated allegation that he is under Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) surveillance, his complaints about Mueller’s team subpoenaing his stepson, his ongoing dispute with his former employer Infowars, and to again proclaim his innocence following Stone's arrest.

    Regan often teases Corsi’s appearances as “exclusives” and Corsi has, in turn, thanked her for giving him such a big platform, saying during the December 14 edition of Trish Regan Primetime, “Your show has been of great assistance. I can't thank you enough.”

    During his appearances, Regan has taken Corsi’s unsubstantiated claims at face value and has effusively praised him, including wishing him luck in his legal travails; calling Corsi “a brave man” who is experiencing “everyone’s worst nightmare”; claiming he was targeted by Mueller because he “dared to fight back”; telling him, “You keep fighting. Dr. Corsi, keep fighting” and claiming, “Dr. Jerome Corsi is fighting back harder than ever”; and saying Corsi has “been through a lot” and has “a really amazing story of what has happened to [him] in all of this.”

    Fox Business has also served as a venue for Corsi to hawk his latest book, with Corsi and hosts encouraging viewers to buy it. During his appearance on Lou Dobbs Tonight, host Lou Dobbs closed the segment by saying, “And again, his e-book is coming out next week. The book's title is Silent No More: How I Became a Political Prisoner of Mueller's Witch Hunt. Now, it's coming out next week as any book on Amazon. You can go to Amazon and preorder it now. We encourage you do so. We recommend it to you highly. It is quite a story.”

    Regan promoted Corsi’s book in eight out of nine of his appearances on her show. An exchange during the December 26 broadcast of Trish Regan Primetime encapsulates how Corsi is using the platform. Prompted by Regan’s suggestion that Corsi is under scrutiny because he “dared to fight back” on his Mueller lawsuit, Corsi went on a rambling diatribe about the suit and his claim that he is under FISA surveillance. Regan then prompted him to promote his book, and he was happy to oblige while assisted by an on-screen graphic:

    Fox Business -- and its sister network Fox News Channel -- previously attempted to legitimize Corsi by hosting him to push his birther conspiracy theory and related book.

  • Mueller target Jerome Corsi was allegedly being paid $15,000 a month by Alex Jones’ Infowars until last week

    Corsi claims special counsel Robert Mueller is investigating payments he received from Infowars

    Blog ››› ››› TIMOTHY JOHNSON

    Sarah Wasko / Media Matters

    Jerome Corsi, a conspiracy theorist who has become entangled in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, was earning $15,000 a month from Alex Jones’ Infowars outlet until last week, according to a legal complaint filed by Corsi.

    In recent weeks, Corsi has been in a protracted battle with Infowars, which employed him as the outlet’s Washington, D.C., bureau chief between January 2017 and June 2018. Beginning in September 2018, after Corsi was subpoenaed to testify before Mueller’s grand jury, Infowars took several actions that appeared to be attempts to influence Corsi’s testimony in a way favorable to Infowars host and Trump confidante Roger Stone. (Stone, like Corsi, is under investigation over whether he had foreknowledge of emails hacked by Russia and then released by WikiLeaks in the 2016 election cycle.) Then in November, as Corsi’s legal troubles worsened, Infowars turned on him, with Stone and Infowars head Alex Jones using the outlet to viciously attack Corsi as a traitor.

    To read more about the dispute between Corsi and Infowars, how Infowars suggested Corsi testify before Mueller’s grand jury, Infowars’ subsequent attacks, and how Stone and Corsi garnered Mueller’s attention in the first place, click here.

    The latest flare-up in the Infowars-Corsi dispute occurred on January 18, when Infowars.com published an article stating, “The Washington Post is set to publish a false story claiming that Jerome Corsi was hired by Infowars at the behest of Roger Stone as part of a ‘hush money’ operation and that this is a line of inquiry for the Mueller investigation into Russian collusion.” The Infowars article claimed that the outlet fired Corsi in June 2018 for poor performance and gave him six months of severance pay.

    Corsi subsequently also claimed that the money he was receiving from Infowars wasn’t a hush payment, though he alleged that he was fired just last week. Corsi’s claims came via a legal filing in which he added The Washington Post as an additional defendant in a lawsuit he filed in December against Mueller and various federal agencies; he is claiming Mueller is violating his Fourth Amendment rights and attempting to force him to lie about Trump. (Corsi is being represented in the lawsuit by crackpot attorney Larry Klayman.)

    In Corsi’s January 21 amended complaint, he says a Washington Post reporter called “to question him about information that Defendant WaPo had obtained from unspecified sources in the Office of the Special Counsel that Defendant Mueller was investigating monthly payments, which were characterized falsely and maliciously published as hush payments to Dr. Corsi so he would not provide ‘incriminating evidence,’ about Alex Jones, InfoWars and Roger Stone before Defendant Mueller and the grand jury.”

    Corsi’s complaint alleges that rather than being hush money, the payments were legitimate, but that after the Post began investigating them, “the very next day Plaintiff Corsi learned from [Alex Jones’ father and Infowars employee] Dr. David Jones that he was being terminated and would no longer be receiving $15,000 per month.” Corsi’s claim that he was terminated only last week is at odds with Infowars’ claim he was fired in June 2018 and was then paid a severance:

    The complaint goes on to allege that the defendants -- The Washington Post, Mueller, the Department of Justice, the FBI, the NSA, and the CIA -- are attempting to bankrupt Corsi in order to force him into giving false testimony to Mueller’s team:
     

    In November, Corsi shared a plea agreement from Mueller’s office that would have had Corsi plead guilty to lying to the FBI while being questioned about the WikiLeaks matter. Corsi said he rejected the agreement. On January 15, it was reported that several Corsi associates, including his stepson, had also been subpoenaed by Mueller’s team.

    Corsi, Stone, and Alex Jones are all inveterate liars and conspiracy theorists, so it is difficult to evaluate the veracity of their claims in the ongoing dispute, but the fact that Corsi is alleging in federal court that Mueller is investigating Infowars payments is an eye-popping development.

  • Paul Manafort’s Russian collusion smoking gun of little interest to Fox News

    Blog ››› ››› TIMOTHY JOHNSON

    Sarah Wasko / Media Matters

    New reports that President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort shared polling data during the 2016 presidential campaign with an individual connected to Russian intelligence have received little attention on Fox News. Previously, the question of whether Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia has been an endless topic of discussion on the network, with Fox serving as a hub for “no collusion” defenders of Trump.

    On January 8, a major story broke on the collusion issue with reports surfacing that improperly redacted court documents filed by Manafort’s legal team indicate that Manafort shared 2016 polling data with Konstantin V. Kilimnik, an individual widely believed to have ties to Russian intelligence.

    Manafort’s lawyers are not disputing whether their client shared the information. But they are wrangling with special counsel Robert Mueller’s team over whether Manafort’s failure to tell the special counsel’s office about his actions should lead to the suspension of Manafort’s plea agreement for conspiracy and obstruction of justice convictions.

    This bombshell development has been the subject of just three brief news packages from Fox News correspondent Catherine Herridge as of 12 p.m. EST, according to a search of iQ Media. The only other mentions of the story have been two headlines during the January 9 broadcasts of Fox & Friends First and America's Newsroom, and a 32-second report from Fox News host Sandra Smith on America’s Newsroom. Notably, Smith’s report was a brazen attempt to get ahead of the story and move the goalposts, in which she found room to add “there is no indication that ... then-candidate Trump was aware of any interaction.”

    Trump’s favorite news show Fox & Friends didn’t cover the Manafort story during its January 9 broadcast. That show has bent over backward to dismiss investigations into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia, and it has previously ignored reports that suggested collusion did occur.

    Collusion has been an endless topic of discussion on Fox News, with the network’s commentary on the issue vacillating between the claims that there was no collusion and that if collusion did occur, it is not improper or a crime. According to a Media Matters review of 487 segments on Hannity about the first year of Mueller’s investigation, 191 segments included commentators suggesting that there had been no collusion between Trump or his associates and Russia, and 25 segments involved commentators suggesting that collusion is not a crime.