Rudy Giuliani, the attorney for President Trump handling the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election, has confirmed that President Trump has a joint defense agreement with Jerome Corsi and over 30 others who are targets of the probe, according to The Daily Beast. Corsi had claimed earlier that he had a joint defense agreement with the president, and Jane Raskin, another member of Trump's legal counsel, also confirmed that it was a recent agreement. Giuliani confirmed that he has spoken with both Corsi and President Trump recently, noting that President Trump told him that he "vaguely knows" Corsi and "can't remember the last time they spoke."
Corsi, a former InfoWars journalist and right-wing conspiracy theorist, said in his upcoming book about his experiences as a target of the Mueller probe that he has a joint defense agreement with the president. Joint defense agreements are common among multiple defendants being investigated by the same law enforcement officials or prosecutor, as they allow defense attorneys to share information and collaborate on a defense.
"After debating the pros and cons, we had decided that anytime we could get the attorney for the President of the United States to offer assistance to us, we needed to say to be thankful and accept," Corsi writes in the book.
As reported in Politico, Giuliani has confirmed that President Trump has joint defense agreements with 32 persons of interest to the special counsel's investigation. Under the joint defense agreements, Trump's attorneys have access to what questions and documents the Mueller probe is asking about and who is on the verge of a criminal indictment from the probe. President Trump's involvement in joint defense agreements, particularly with the defense counsel for witnesses who have agreed to cooperate with the Mueller investigation, has pushed legal boundaries. Legal experts have derided the move as borderline unethical.
"The only way they can still be in JDA is if they have told prosecutors [the defendant] has nothing on Trump and they believe him," a defense lawyer working on the Russia investigation said while commenting on the current situation of President Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort.
As reported in the New York Times this week, defense attorneys for Paul Manafort, who had previously flipped and turned state's witness in the investigation before the Mueller probe dissolved the agreement due to alleged lying and misdirection by Manafort, have been communicating with President Trump's legal team even after Manafort's conviction and cooperation agreement.