Stepson of target in Russia probe testifies to grand jury

WASHINGTON (AP) — The stepson of conservative writer Jerome Corsi, who is a target in the special counsel’s Russia investigation, appeared before a grand jury on Thursday and was questioned about a computer that he and Corsi had discussed being “scrubbed,” his lawyer said.

Andrew Stettner spent about an hour facing questions at the federal courthouse in Washington.

Corsi is an associate of former Trump campaign adviser Roger Stone, and special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigators are trying to determine whether Corsi and Stone had advance knowledge of WikiLeaks’ plans to release hacked material damaging to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential effort.

But prosecutors did not ask Stettner about any other topics and did not question him about Stone, said lawyer Larry Klayman, who represents Stettner and Corsi.

“There were questions about the computer, and the special counsel seemed quite satisfied with those responses,” Klayman said.

Corsi has said investigators previously sought to question his stepson about the computer and text messages the two exchanged in which Stettner told his stepfather that a computer that sat on Corsi’s desk had been “scrubbed.” Corsi has maintained that the messages showed nothing nefarious and that he asked his stepson to refurbish the old computer for his wife to use for her business.

But the testimony before the grand jury is further evidence that the special counsel is continuing to examine the relationship between Corsi and Stone, who has known President Donald Trump for decades.

Klayman said it was “really unnecessary” for Stettner to be there on Thursday.

“The testimony confirmed that no documents were in any way deleted or lost or anything to that effect,” he said.

The attorney reiterated his call for the special counsel’s office to back off its investigation of Corsi, saying it would be “very unwise” if it brought charges against him. Corsi has filed a lawsuit against Mueller and has filed a complaint with the Justice Department, alleging prosecutors tried to coerce him to give false testimony.

A spokesman for the special counsel’s office, Peter Carr, declined to comment Thursday.

Corsi also has released documents showing prosecutors offered him a deal to plead guilty to a false-statements charge. He has rejected the deal and says he didn’t knowingly mislead investigators.