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Onetime ally says Roger Stone 'on his own', ready to testify at trial

Onetime ally says Roger Stone 'on his own', ready to testify at trial
FILE PHOTO: Roger Stone speaks after his appearance at Federal Court in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, U.S., January 25, 2019. REUTERS/Joe Skipper Copyright JOE SKIPPER(Reuters)
Copyright JOE SKIPPER(Reuters)
By Reuters
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By Nathan Layne

(Reuters) - Jerome Corsi, a right-wing author and conspiracy theorist, said on Monday that he was ready to testify at the trial of Roger Stone, the longtime associate of President Donald Trump who was indicted last week in the Russia probe, and to "let the chips fall where they may."

"I'm happy to be a witness," Corsi told Reuters in an interview. "If it's for Roger's benefit or not for Roger's benefit so be it but I'm going to tell the truth to the best of my ability."

Corsi was referred to in the indictment of Stone as one of two people Stone sought to use as intermediaries to communicate with Wikileaks founder Julian Assange about hacked Democratic Party emails in the 2016 election campaign.

The charges against Stone centre on allegations that he lied to Congress about his pursuit of information on stolen emails released by Wikileaks with the apparent aim of damaging presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's campaign. Stone's indictment revealed a link between Republican Trump's campaign and WikiLeaks, the online publisher of secret documents.

U.S. intelligence agencies have said the emails were stolen as part of Russia's state-ordered operation to disrupt the American democratic process.

Stone is a longtime Republican political operative and is the latest among several Trump associates who have pleaded guilty or been charged in Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of Russian interference in the election. He is scheduled to appear in court in Washington to answer the charges on Tuesday.. He has said he would plead not guilty.

Corsi brushed aside accusations by Stone on Monday that Corsi was lying to save his own skin.

"If Roger wants to call me a liar, if he wants to call me any kind of names, Roger is on his own," Corsi said. "He's a big boy. He will have his own case and his own day."

Corsi's comments underscore the growing distance between the two men. Stone helped Corsi get a job in 2017 at Infowars, a website that promotes conspiracy theories, and the two were previously aligned politically; both have been staunch supporters of Trump and fierce critics of the Mueller probe.

Corsi said he had not spoken with Stone since he was served with a grand jury subpoena last Aug. 28 as part of Mueller's investigation into possible collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign - allegations denied by both Moscow and Trump.

For Stone, one of Corsi's potentially most damaging assertions is that the two men worked together on a "cover story" for a tweet by Stone in August 2016 that appeared to predict a later release of emails of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta. Corsi says he testified to this to the grand jury.

(reporting by Nathan Layne in New York; editing by Grant McCool)

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