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Roger Stone trial witness defends prosecutors from Trump's 'vile smear job'

POLITICO logo POLITICO 6 days ago By Quint Forgey
a group of people looking at a man in a suit and tie: Randy Credico. © Alex Wong/Getty Images Randy Credico.

A key witness in Roger Stone's trial is defending the quartet of prosecutors who withdrew from the federal case against the controversial Republican operative, accusing President Donald Trump of targeting the attorneys with a "vile smear job."

"As the son of a man who spent 10 years in prison, I have consistantly [sic] opposed incarceration," Randy Credico, a longtime Stone associate and colorful New York radio host, tweeted on Wednesday.

"That being said, Trump's vile smear job on the 4 DC prosecutors were appalling and ominous," he added. "In my experience, I found them to be professional, moral, ethical and non partisan."

Credico's social media post came after the Justice Department on Tuesday backed off a prior sentencing proposal for Stone, a longtime informal political adviser to Trump. The president had been critical of prosecutors' initial recommendation, which called for Stone to serve a prison term of seven to nine years.

Following that intervention by the Justice Department, the four attorneys who had shepherded Stone's prosecution either resigned or notified the court Tuesday that they were stepping off the case. Trump suggested Wednesday on Twitter that they were perhaps "Rogue prosecutors."

A federal jury found Stone guilty in November of impeding a congressional investigation into connections between the Russian government and Trump's 2016 campaign. Stone had told lawmakers in 2017 that Credico acted as his backchannel to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange during the election — an allegation Credico has denied.

Credico was interviewed by former special counsel Robert Mueller's team on several occasions in 2018. He went on to appear at Stone's trial, which revealed a series of hostile and vulgar text messages Stone sent to Credico in an alleged effort to intimidate him into repeating Stone's version of events in testimony before Congress.

Although Stone has claimed his comments were in jest, prosecutors pointed to the messages to justify the bulk of his suggested prison time. "Prepare to die, cocks-----," Stone wrote to Credico in one instance. He also told Credico, who has a therapy dog, that he would "take that dog away from you."

Credico recently wrote to the court saying he did not think Stone was threatening him physically, but prosecutors noted that during the trial, Credico said he was concerned Stone's statements could encourage others to become violent.

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