President Donald Trump’s longtime advisor and confidante Roger Stone allegedly told an associate to “do a ‘Frank Pentangeli'” and later threatened to take away the man’s dog. The warnings came in messages obtained by the special counsel and revealed on Friday in an unsealed indictment for witness tampering and other charges.
The man on the receiving ends of those messages was Randy Credico, a radio personality who Mueller said served as the intermediary between Stone and WikiLeaks, the anti-secrecy website that the United States has said was used by the Kremlin to disseminate documents stolen from Trump’s 2016 rival Hillary Clinton.
The threatening messages to Credico came after Stone told the House Intelligence Committee in September 2017 that he and Credico had not exchanged any texts or emails. In fact, the two had texted and emailed frequently during the course of the 2016 presidential campaign, including about WikiLeaks, special counsel Robert Mueller alleges.
In December, after learning that Credico had been subpoenaed to testify before the committee, Stone urged him to “do a ‘Frank Pentangeli'” — a reference to the mobster in “The Godfather” films — in order to avoid revealing that Stone had perjured himself.
In “The Godfather: Part II,” which Mueller notes Credico and Stone had discussed, Pentangeli lies to a congressional committee in order to avoid incriminating the film’s protagonist Michael Corleone, who is also known as The Godfather.
In response to Stone’s plea, Credico urged Stone to “amend your testimony before I testify on the 15th.”
Stone responded: “If you testify you’re a fool. Because of tromp I could never get away with a certain [sic] my Fifth Amendment rights but you can. I guarantee you you are the one who gets indicted for perjury if you’re stupid enough to testify.”
Later that month, Credico, who is referred to as Person 2 in the indictment, texted Stone to “be honest” with the FBI.
Stone responded that he was not talking to the FBI and if Credico was smart “you won’t either.”
Credico told the committee that month that he would assert his 5th Amendment rights and not testify. Credico has not been charged with any wrongdoing in connection with Mueller’s probe. He declined to comment to CNBC Friday.
The White House said Friday that the charges brought by the special counsel had nothing to do with the president. Stone’s attorney vowed to vigorously contest the charges.
Five months later, Stone escalated his attacks on Credico, whom he had known for more than a decade. In April 2018, Stone accused Credico of being a “rat” and threatened to steal his service dog, a white Coton de Tuléar named Bianca.
According to the indictment, Stone wrote in an email, “You are a rat. A stoolie. You backstab your friends-run your mouth my lawyers are dying Rip you to shreds.”
Stone told Credico that he would “take that dog away from you,” which Mueller notes was “referring to Person 2’s dog.”
“I am so ready. Let’s get it on. Prepare to die [expletive],” Stone told Credico on approximately the same day, according to Mueller.
Credico obtained permission in September 2018 to bring Bianca to court while he testified to Mueller’s grand jury about his dealings with Stone.
In May, Credico told Stone that Stone had exposed himself to criminal charges during his testimony to lawmakers.
“You should have just been honest with the house Intel committee,” Credico said in an email. “you’ve opened yourself up to perjury charges like an idiot.”
In a statement to NBC on Friday, Stone’s lawyer Grant Smith said he would vigorously defend his client and fight the charges.
“He’s been very public for the last two years about where he was and what he was doing. There were no charges of Russian collusion,” Smith said.
“These were charges they brought specifically to go against Roger Stone. They started looking at collusion and they were convinced there was collusion. If they’d found any collusion they would have charged him with it,” he said. “He will fight vigorously because these were things he did not recall and were immaterial to the scope of the investigation.”