Jerome Corsi has filed yet another lawsuit. This time, he’s suing his former friend and associate Roger Stone for defamation–again.
Filed in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia on Friday, April 5, the 11-page complaint also names attorney Larry Klayman as a plaintiff and Republican Party political consultant and media strategist Michael Caputo as the second defendant.
The “General Allegations” section almost immediately sets the tone:
Defendant Caputo is now working in concert with self proclaimed “dirty trickster” and at best “Mafia admirer,” if not actual Mafia connected Defendant Stone, who was recently indicted on seven felony charges by Special Counsel Robert Mueller as part of his “Russian Collusion” investigation and now prosecution for the alleged crimes of perjury, witness tampering and obstruction of justice. The indictment comprises seven different felony counts. Importantly, Plaintiff Corsi was not accused of any wrongdoing or illegality in the Mueller Indictment, in which he [sic] named as Person 1, a material witness to the alleged crimes committed by Stone.
At another point, the lawsuit claims Caputo “has extensive ties to Russia” and that he once “served as an advisor to” Russian Federation President “Vladamir [sic] Putin.”
The lawsuit claims that Stone “began a public relations campaign in this district, nationally and internationally to smear, intimidate and threaten” Corsi and Klayman.
“Stone knew that he was going to be indicted, and therefore began this public relations campaign to smear, defame, intimidate and threaten,” the lawsuit continues, “in order to try to influence public opinion and Special Counsel Robert Mueller — by trying to attribute guilt to to Plaintiff Corsi and not him – as well as to trty to raise money for his legal defense.”
Stone, of course, was eventually indicted by Mueller on the above-noted felony counts. But that didn’t stop his alleged campaign of defamation, according to the lawsuit.
“[Stone] has continued to engage in the same defamatory conduct, frequently with the aid of surrogates, such as Defendant Caputo, in order to sway public opinion in his favor, illegally influence the jury at his upcoming criminal trial, and try to raise money for his legal defense fund at the expense of Plaintiff Corsi who has his own legal defense fund.”
The lawsuit doesn’t identify any specific comments by Stone which rise to the level of defamation–but instead relies upon an agency theory that Caputo effectively acted as one of Stone’s “surrogates” in order to defame Corsi.
At issue is a March 29 appearance on MSNBC wherein Caputo commented on the Mueller investigation wrapping up without an additional indictment.
Speaking generally about the end of the investigation, Caputo said:
[T]he Mueller team finds themselves at the end of the hallway…and they’re staring at Jerry Corsi, who believes the most wild conspiracies in the world…They end at the freak show tent.
He later commented on Corsi himself not being indicted:
[H]e could be the luckiest man in the world. I think he should buy a lottery ticket or ten. I’m surprised. I also believe that it indicates that Corsi gave them information that they were looking for, probably on Roger Stone. We’ll probably see him brought in as a witness in Roger Stone’s trial.
The lawsuit alleges that Caputo’s statements–also attributed to Stone under the agency/surrogacy theory–had the “goal” of attempting “to create the false implication that [Corsi and Klayman] are not true conservatives and not supporters of President Trump and are dishonest and underhanded because they were willing to help [Mueller] try to take down President Trump.”
Additionally, the lawsuit claims that Stone, by way of Caputo, used the statements in order “to divert money [away] from” Corsi’s legal defense fund and toward Stone’s legal defense fund instead–and that the “false and misleading” statements resulted in severe reputational harm to both plaintiffs.
Spanning two separate cause of action–defamation and defamation by implication–the lawsuit seeks $25 million in damages as well injunctive relief and attorney’s fees.
Law&Crime reached out to Stone and Caputo for comment on this story, but no response was forthcoming at the time of publication.
[image via Matthew Cavanaugh/Getty Images]