Roger Stone trial reopens questions about Trump's 2016 actions

Roger Stone and his wife Nydia center and daughter Adria left arrive at Federal Court for his federal trial in Washington Thursday Nov. 7 2019

Roger Stone and his wife Nydia center and daughter Adria left arrive at Federal Court for his federal trial in Washington Thursday Nov. 7 2019

The quote was cited in a Stone text detailed by former agent Michelle Taylor at Stone's trial. Jurors will also hear from comedian and NY radio personality Randy Credico, who Stone told the committee was his back channel to WikiLeaks - and whom Stone alternately cajoled, berated and threatened not to contradict his testimony when he was called before the intelligence panel, according to Stone's indictment.

Stone in various texts urged Credico to plead the Fifth Amendment against self-incrimination or not talk to investigators.

Stone is accused of lying to Congress, tampering with a witness and obstructing the House investigation into whether the Trump campaign coordinated with Russian Federation to tip the 2016 election.

But when the committee and special counsel Robert Mueller later sought to corroborate Stone's claim by asking Credico to testify, Credico realized Stone had lied about him being a back channel and fudged the time-line to make it sound like Credico had provided information in July, when in fact Credico did not actually interview Assange until a month later.

Stone has long admired Nixon and has a tattoo of the late president on his back. The quote was from secret tapes of Nixon revealed during the Watergate investigation.

In the texts, Credico accused Stone of getting caught up in his own public exaggerations, feigning back-channel connections to Assange that didn't exist and then naming Credico as that connection in order to maintain the story.

"You want me to cover you for perjury now", Credico write to Stone in one text exchange.

And though he told Stone there was some "big stuff" coming from Wikileaks, he acknowledged on Thursday that those comments were merely made out of "instinct or I was bluffing". Stone, he said, categorically denied any written communication with anyone regarding Julian Assange, the founder of the anti-secrecy site WikiLeaks, which published the stolen emails. "It was all bravado".

Stone responded, "I guarantee you that you'll be the one who gets indicted for perjury if you're stupid enough to testify".

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In multiple instances, Stone urges Credico to "start practicing your pentangeli" imitation.

As the relationship deteriorated, Stone's responses descended into vulgar abuse and threats, as well as multiple references to Frank Pentangeli, a figure in the movie "The Godfather Part II". He claims before Congress that the Federal Bureau of Investigation pressured him to make up stories and ensnare Corleone.

The prosecution asked Credico if Pentangeli was among the many impressions that he liked to do.

In his cross-examination, defense attorney Bruce Rogow led Taylor through a slow and seemingly meandering review of certain pieces of evidence. Rogow appeared to be emphasizing the limits of the FBI's knowledge.

As the trial entered its third day, prosecutors methodically laid out who Mr. Stone spoke with and when, showing contacts between Mr. Stone and top Trump campaign deputies.

"Do you know whether or not Corsi ever saw Assange?" He then induced Taylor to admit that she didn't know if the pair had actually talked.

"I never asked him about what he was going to deliver, and I never asked him about his business", Credico said on the stand. Credico, who's also a comedian and voice actor, admitted that he has struggled with alcoholism over the past three decades.

Mistaking it for an invitation, Credico offered to let the jury hear one and managed to squeeze in a quick impression of Democratic presidential candidates Bernie Sanders despite Jackson's instruction not to do so. The judge instructed the jury not to go home and download "The Godfather".

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