WASHINGTON (CN) – Jerome Corsi cannot pick the judge who will handle his $350 million lawsuit against special counsel Robert Mueller, a federal judge ruled Thursday, finding nothing about the case to connect it to one that a lawyer for the conspiracy theorist and conservative author brought previously.
Corsi sued Mueller in December, claiming that the special counsel’s office tried to coerce him into committing perjury and falsely admit that he served as a point of contact between Roger Stone, a longtime confidante of President Donald Trump, and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
Corsi also alleged Mueller’s team wanted him to admit that it was he who coordinated activity between Stone and Assange, which resulted in the publication of stolen Democrat emails in 2016.
Since launching the lawsuit, Corsi has widely – and very publicly – claimed that the FBI is illegally surveilling him and harassing his family. Their tactics, he alleges, include performing “door knocks” on his stepson as well as parking surveillance vans just outside of his family members’ homes.
Corsi’s attorney Larry Klayman argued that the “ongoing and illegal unconstitutional surveillance” makes his claim an ideal one for U.S. District Judge Richard Leon.
Back in 2015, in a decision that was later overturned, Leon ruled for Klayman when the attorney brought a lawsuit challenging bulk collection of phone records by the National Security Agency.
Usually, cases in federal court are randomly assigned to judges unless an attorney can prove that their matter is related to a case that a judge has ruled on before and an exception should be made.
But those exceptions are rare.
Reading his decision from the bench, Leon said that his argument was fruitless since neither Corsi nor the special counsel were parties to Klayman’s earlier lawsuits against the NSA.
“Because I have dismissed each of the Klayman cases with prejudice and they are all currently on appeal in the D.C. Circuit, none of these cases are pending on the merits in the district court,” the judge said.
Even if the pending appeals were somehow identical, the judge explained, “this case and the Klayman cases do not even come close to sharing the substantive relationship necessary” to be deemed related.
Corsi may claim that he is being illegally monitored and such activity may superficially seem tied to previous cases, but first and foremost his complaint alleges Fourth Amendment violations and grand jury secrecy violations.
“The bar invocation of a common statutory authorization, or even a legitimate overlap in the statutory provisions at issue does not magically convert cases involving different parties, different facts and different subject matters into related cases,” Leon said.
To conclude otherwise would amount to “judge-shopping,” he said.
Following his appearance before Judge Leon, Corsi and Klayman held a press conference outside of the courthouse where the men declared mutual “victory.”
“While I respect the judge, he was dead wrong today and we’re just beginning the fight,” Klayman told a small group of reporters gathered outside of the courthouse.
Insinuating that the judge may be a member of the “deep state,” Corsi said: “We have a very strong case and we will get an independent judge.”
Corsi has routinely alleged that Mueller’s appointment and the special counsel’s accompanying probe are an act of broad overreach by the Justice Department. He repeated the allegations before a small group of reporters for nearly 30 minutes on Thursday afternoon.
“[The special counsel’s team] is happily engaged in prosecutorial misconduct. The only testimony they’re interested in, even if it is a lie, is against Trump,” Corsi said.
The conservative author also told reporters that Mueller’s “entire Russian collusion case turned on Corsi” and that the special counsel was a “politically motivated hack.”
“He is willing to engage in criminal prosecutorial misconduct in order to tie scalps to his belt. I won’t be one of those scalps,” Corsi said.
On Thursday evening, a new judge was promptly assigned: U.S. District Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle, who was appointed in 1999 by former President Bill Clinton.