Conservative author Jerome Corsi has lodged a formal complaint with the Justice Department accusing special counsel Robert Mueller's office of misconduct in the investigation into Russian election interference.
Corsi, an associate of Roger Stone, alleges Mueller's team tried to pressure him to admit that he lied about his efforts to learn WikiLeaks' plans ahead of the release of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta's stolen emails in October 2016.
Corsi insists he never lied. He says he forgot about the messages he sent to Stone and others seeking to find out what damaging information WikiLeaks had on the Clinton campaign — and later amended his testimony after he found them.
"The special counsel and his prosecutorial staff threatened to indict Dr. Corsi, who is now 72 years old, and effectively put him in jail for the rest of his life, unless Dr. Corsi would provide the false testimony that they demanded, even after being informed that the testimony desired would be false," says the 78-page document. "This is criminal."
The paperwork was addressed to acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, the Justice Department's inspector general and the District of Columbia Bar.
Former federal prosecutors contacted by NBC News said they believe Corsi's claims against Mueller have no merit.
"Filing a complaint based on Corsi's version of the truth abuses the role of the inspector general to ferret out wrongdoing within DOJ and seems to be more of a public relations stunt than a meritorious concern," said Daniel Goldman, a former federal prosecutor who is now a legal analyst for NBC News and MSNBC.
Mimi Rocah, who served as an assistant U.S. attorney for New York's Southern District, described Corsi's claims as "patently ridiculous."
"This is somebody who doesn't like the fact that he's being caught in his lies," said Rocah, now a Pace University law professor and legal analyst for NBC News and MSNBC.
The experts said a typical claim of prosecutorial misconduct could lead to a Justice Department investigation or be referred to the District of Columbia bar.
Corsi has previously released a draft plea agreement from Mueller's office charging him with one count of lying to federal investigators. Corsi has said he rejected the deal, which would have forced him to give up his writing and speaking opportunities until sentencing.
In an interview Monday, Corsi said he hopes the complaint will trigger an investigation of Mueller.
"I filed this complaint so we can get a fair special counsel and so he and his team can be put under investigation," Corsi said. "I'm doing this because I don't want anybody else to suffer at the hands of Mueller and his henchman as they have caused me to suffer."
As NBC News reported late last month, draft court papers stated that Corsi told investigators he took no action after receiving a request by Stone in July 2016 to try to contact WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and get the "pending (WikiLeaks) emails."
But Mueller's team said instead of turning down the request, Corsi in fact passed it along to an associate in London and later replied to Stone suggesting he had inside information on WikiLeaks' plans.
"Word is (Assange) plans 2 more dumps...Impact planned to be very damaging," Corsi wrote to Stone on Aug. 2, 2016, according to draft court documents.
"Time to let more than (Podesta) to be exposed as in bed w enemy if they are not ready to drop HRC (Hillary Rodham Clinton). That appears to be the game hackers are now about."
Corsi told NBC News he had no inside knowledge of WikiLeaks plans but "figured out" that Podesta's emails would be released in October.
The complaint against Mueller was filed on Corsi's behalf by Larry Klayman, a conservative lawyer who founded the right-wing organization Freedom Watch.
In the document, Corsi argues that one of Mueller's prosecutors is unfit to be involved with the Russia probe because she did prior work representing the Clinton Foundation.
The complaint also claims the investigation is rigged because some of the prosecutors have allegedly donated money to Democrats, and one of them was invited to Clinton's planned election night victory party in 2016.
Peter Carr, a spokesman for the special counsel's office, declined to comment.
The Justice Department did not return a request for comment.