It’s a movie the jury should refuse.
The federal judge presiding over longtime Donald Trump adviser Roger Stone’s criminal trial told jurors on Thursday not to watch “The Godfather” during the trial.
“Don’t download ‘The Godfather’ on Netflix,” U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson told the jury as testimony wrapped up for the day. The two days of testimony in Stone’s trial on charges of lying to Congress, obstructing justice and witness tampering have included numerous references to the “Godfather” films.
Stone, 67, is accused of lying under oath about his efforts to contact WikiLeaks during the 2016 campaign.
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Stone has said he using radio host and comedian Randy Credico as an intermediary to get messages to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
Prosecutors said that he threatened Credico to make sure he didn’t cooperate with investigators, urging him to “do a Frank Pentangeli.” Pentangeli is a character in “The Godfather: Part II” who is pressured to lie to a congressional committee to avoid implicating the head of the fictional Corleone crime family. Pentangeli lies to Congress and then kills himself afterward.
Before the trial started, prosecutors had asked to play the scene for the jury, but the judge denied the request.
Stone’s lawyer, Bruce Rogow, told jurors in his opening statement that his client was just kidding around with Credico. He noted that Credico “is an impressionist” and said Pentangeli is one of his characters.
Credico does do a number of impressions — including Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, Jack Nicholson, Al Pacino and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who is not a fan of the “Godfather” movies.
But Pentangeli is not on his list, he said. “He wasn’t somebody I would do in my act,” he testified Thursday.
He did treat the courtroom to a brief Bernie Sanders impression before the judge stopped him.
“I know you’re a comedian but this is serious business,” she said.
Credico is expected to continue testifying Friday. Other witnesses set to be called in the case are former Trump campaign chief Steve Bannon and former campaign deputy Rick Gates, who prosecutors say each had numerous conversations with Stone.