Mark Corallo is an American political communications and public relations professional, who is the co-founder and co-principal of Corallo Comstock. Corallo also formed Corallo Media Strategies, a public relations firm. Corallo is a Washington communications veteran who has worked on Capitol Hill, in the executive branch, for campaigns, and with grass roots organizations.
In 2007, Corallo signed on as spokesman for possible Republican presidential candidate Fred Thompson. He has also gained prominence by publicly calling for the resignation of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.
Corallo formed his newest firm with Barbara Comstock, who served as his predecessor as Public Affairs Director at the Department of Justice until 2003, and prior to that, as Republican National Committee opposition research director. Corallo decided to convert his previous one-man shop into a joint operation after conversations with the Hearst Corporation, one of his clients, about hiring additional representation for their matter. Corallo recommended Comstock, who, like Corallo, had assisted the defense team of Scooter Libby.
Hearst has hired Corallo and Comstock to support Heart's attempts to quash a subpoena to compel testimony by two San Francisco Chronicle journalists who broke the story of the BALCO steroids investigation.
Corallo was chief spokesman for U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft from 2002–2005, as the Public Affairs Director for the Department of Justice. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has compiled numerous examples of statements Corallo made during that period which the ACLU believes misrepresent the department's understanding of the USA Patriot Act and which were designed to mislead the press about the scope of Justice Department actions.
From 1999-2002, Corallo was the Communications Director for the United States House of Representatives Committee on Government Reform, taking a leave of absence during the 2000 presidential campaign season to serve as press secretary for Victory 2000, the Republican National Committee's official campaign effort. From 1996-1999, he served as press secretary to U.S. Representative and Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, Bob Livingston (R-LA), as Livingston was forced to step aside as the incoming speaker of the House in 1998 after admitting an extramarital affair.
Communications work on behalf of controversial individuals
Shortly before the indictment of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, related to Libby's alleged involvement in the outing of Valerie Plame, Corallo became a part of Karl Rove's "public relations defense team." Corallo spoke to the media on Rove's behalf, and correctly denied reports that Rove was under indictment for his involvement in "Plamegate". Corallo has also attended a fundraiser to raise money for Libby's legal defense fund at the residence of James Carville and Mary Matalin.
In December 1998, during the House debate over the Clinton impeachment, Speaker-elect Bob Livingston, whose own claimed infidelities were soon to be exposed, allegedly called for ending the impeachment process. Corallo, then Livingston's press secretary, is alleged to have urged his boss to continue with the process. Clinton was later impeached for perjury, but was not convicted.
- Paul Singer and Tory Newmyer, K Street Files, Roll Call, April 11, 2007, p. 7
- About Mark, Corallo Media Strategies Retrieved July 16, 2012
- Dan Eggen and Amy Goldstein, E-Mails Show Machinations to Replace Prosecutor, Washington Post, March 23, 2007
- Kenneth P. Vogel, 'Law & Order' And Lobbying, Politico, April 3, 2007
- David Jackson, Bush team built on foundation of loyalty, USA Today, April 5, 2007
- T.R. Goldman and Emma Schwartz, DOJ Official Brings Storm by Taking the Fifth in Gonzales Flap, Legal Times, April 2, 2007
- Seeking Truth from Justice, vol. 1, American Civil Liberties Union, July 2003
- VandeHei, Jim; Leonnig, Carol D. (October 28, 2005), "White House Braces for Indictment; Rove Said to Be Spared for Now", Washington Post
- Rove Indictment Report Denied, New York Sun, May 15, 2006
- David Edwards, Video shows top Republican donors attending Libby event, including Rove's spokesman, Raw Story, June 22, 2006
- Bill Couldn't Tell Hill About Monica, CBS News, September 13, 2000 (citing The Breach: Inside the Impeachment and Trial of William Jefferson Clinton, by Washington Post reporter Peter Baker)