WASHINGTON (CN) – Grappling with a lawsuit filed against Robert Mueller, a federal judge made clear Wednesday the case brought by conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi was difficult to unpack given that Mueller has stepped down as special counsel since the lawsuit was filed.
Senior U.S. District Judge Ellen Huvelle in Washington, D.C., questioned on what basis Corsi can sue Mueller in both his official and private capacity.
The judge was unamused by theatrical arguments from Corsi’s lawyer, Larry Klayman, who argued Mueller was fully aware of alleged pressuring of his client by federal prosecutors.
“If you’re telling me that nobody knew what was going on then we live on a different planet,” Klayman said.
The judge replied: “Okay, I’ll live on Mars.”
Huvelle also moved to enter into the record articles from the Washington Post on documents Corsi provided to the publication claiming they were the government’s proposed plea agreement.
The Justice Department did not object but said the documents are allegations from Corsi on what he was given by the government during Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
The lawsuit filed by Corsi last year alleges the special counsel’s office attempted to coerce him to commit perjury and falsely admit that he served as a point of contact between Roger Stone — a longtime confidante of President Donald Trump set to stand trial next month — and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
Klayman rehashed claims presented in earlier proceedings that the FBI and National Security Agency listened in on Corsi’s private communications. The lawyer argued that for this reason, federal agents would have known when they interviewed Corsi that he did not serve as an intermediary between Stone and WikiLeaks.
But Huvelle repeatedly asked Klayman, who argued his client was set up and later retaliated against by federal agents, why the case was now relevant given Corsi was never indicted.
“What is the problem? And don’t tell me about this town,” Huvelle said referring to repeated lamentations by the lawyer on crooked Washington politics. The judge noted Klayman, as a former prosecutor, surely knows it is common practice for federal prosecutors to “play hardball.”
Huvelle similarly was skeptical of claims of grand jury secrecy violations brought by Corsi, telling his lawyer that is a matter to take up with the judge who oversaw the Mueller investigation grand jury panel.
“Do I have the power to impose civil contempt when I don’t have control of the jury?” Huvelle asked. “It would be novel, that’s for sure,” the judge added.
Following a range of questions from the judge on what form of relief Corsi seeks from Meuller, the former special counsel’s lawyer voiced similar uncertainty.
“I’m not really sure what he wants but he certainly can’t get it from Mr. Mueller in his individual capacity,” said Justice Department attorney Laura Smith.