Roger Stone, a longtime ally of U.S. President Donald Trump, allegedly called an associate “a rat,” threatened his dog and invoked “The Godfather” Mafia movies in a bid to stop him from testifying in an investigation run by U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office, according to court papers unsealed on Friday.
Stone was arrested in Florida on Friday and accused of lying to congressional investigators and tampering with a witness.
Prosecutors accuse the political provocateur of threatening an associate who hosted a radio program in an apparent attempt to stop the unnamed person from testifying to investigators probing Russian influence in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
The 24-page indictment is peppered with alleged threats, some with typos or grammatical errors, from Stone to the unnamed associate:
* “You are a rat. A stoolie. You backstab your friends-run your mouth my lawyers are dying Rip you to shreds,” Stone told the person in an April 9 email. He also threatened to “take that dog away from you,” and said, “I am so ready. Let’s get it on. Prepare to die (expletive).”
* “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,” Stone told the person in a Dec. 1, 2017, text message.
* “You are so full of (expletive). You got nothing. Keep running your mouth and I’ll file a bar complaint against your friend,” Stone wrote in a May 21 email.
* Another Dec. 1 2017 message referred to a character in “The Godfather: Part II” who declines to testify to Congress after mobsters bring his brother from Italy to the hearing in an apparent threat to the man’s safety. Court papers said that Stone told the person to “do a ‘Frank Pentangeli.’”
(Reporting by Scott Malone; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Jeffrey Benkoe)
John Dean says Gordon Sondland just had his ‘John Dean moment’ by flipping on Trump: ‘The truth has come out’
Former White House aide John Dean on Wednesday compared his testimony against President Richard Nixon to the testimony of European Union Ambassador Gordon Sondland.
"This has been called by some commentators a John Dean moment," CNN host Jake Tapper noted during a break in the testimony. "And there is no person I can think of who is better qualified to weigh in on that than John Dean."
"Is he the John Dean of this impeachment inquiry?" Tapper wondered.
"His statement certainly caught the Republicans off guard," Dean replied. "They didn't pick away -- just a few little picky points."
‘The worst day with the most damning evidence’: CNN’s Tapper explains how Sondland was very bad for Trump
European Union ambassador Gordon Sondland's testimony before the House of Representatives' impeachment inquiry on Wednesday generated several startling revelations, including confirmation of an explicit quid-pro-quo deal involving investigations into former Vice President Joe Biden.
CNN's Jake Tapper described Sondland's testimony as " a monumental and historic moment on what may turn out to be the worst day with the most damning evidence for President Trump in the impeachment inquiry."
He then laid out all the ways that Sondland has been very bad news for the president.
"Sondland directly implicated the president in directing the operation to pressure Ukraine," Tapper explained. "Sondland is testifying that there very clearly was a quid pro quo -- this was for a White House visit for the Ukrainians in exchange for an announcement about an investigation into the company Burisma and the Bidens. Now, Sondland later said it became clear to him that the quid pro quo also, he presumed, was tied to the holdup of hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid that Ukraine desperately needed."
Here are the most important moments from Gordon Sondland’s bomshell impeachment inquiry testimony
EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland, a key actor in President Donald Trump's effort to pressure Ukraine for dirt on his political rivals, was in the hot seat Wednesday as Democrats built their case for impeaching the US leader.
Here are some of the key quotes from his opening statement.
- Following Trump's orders -
- "As a presidential appointee, I followed the directions of the president. We worked with (Trump's personal lawyer Rudy) Giuliani because the president directed us to do so.
"We had no desire to set any conditions on the Ukranians. Indeed, my own personal view -- which I shared repeatedly with others -- was that the White House meeting and security assistance should have proceeded without pre-conditions of any kind."