Randy Credico, New York City comedian and witness in the case of GOP provocateur Roger Stone, still has a lot to say.
Credico spoke to TPM over the phone on Wednesday while at the vet with his therapy dog, Bianca — a subject of the threats that got Stone convicted of witness tampering and obstruction.
Credico suggested that a watered down sentencing memo filed on Tuesday that mentioned threats Stone made against him didn’t fully capture his point about the threat he felt from the Trump ally.
The government made an unprecedented reversal in Stone’s case on Tuesday, backtracking from an earlier recommendation that Stone serve 7–9 years behind bars. Prosecutors, in the revised statement, said that earlier recommendation was “excessive and unwarranted,” and left the exact sentence at the judge’s discretion. The flip came after DOJ officials intervened in the matter.
Credico, a main witness in the case, had argued against a term of incarceration for Stone in a Jan. 22 letter to Judge Amy Berman Jackson, saying that “I never in any way felt that Stone himself posed a direct physical threat to me or to my dog.”
The comedian and longtime activist had described at trial how Stone threatened to kill Bianca the dog, while prosecutors cited April 2018 text messages where Stone told Credico, “you are a rat. A stoolie. You backstab your friends.”
“I am so ready. Let’s get it on. Prepare to die,” Stone added.
The government said in its diluted sentencing memorandum that Credico’s statement that he never felt a “direct physical threat” from Stone weighed against a tough sentence.
But, Credico reiterated to TPM a point he made in his letter — he is against incarceration, for Stone or anyone.
“My father spent 10 years of his life behind bars before he married and had children,” he wrote in the letter. “The mental scars of those years never left my father’s soul. As kids, my brother, sister, and I could feel the pain radiating from him as though it were our own.”
“But the bottom line is Mr. Stone, at his core, is an insecure person who craves and recklessly pursues attention,” the letter continued. “Like Billy Wilder’s tragic fictional character Norma Desmond, Stone is always at the ready for that ‘close-up.’ Prison is no remedy.”
But Credico did suggest to TPM that whatever threat he perceived came from those around Stone.
“‘He himself’ — read it again, try to parse it. I never thought that [Stone] himself was ever, you know, a threat,” Credico said.
“What, is he hovering in some corner with a knife? If somebody is gonna steal my dog, they’ll do it, maybe somebody else might do it,” the comedian and longtime activist added. “Maybe you might steal my dog.”
Credico praised the four federal prosecutors who resigned from the case on Tuesday, describing the situation as “unbelievable.”
The prosecutors resigned after Justice Department officials reversed the earlier sentencing recommendation that Stone serve 7–9 years behind bars for his conviction on obstruction, witness tampering, and lying to Congress.
“You can’t attack public servants like this,” Credico said. “The whole time I was with them, I never — it’s exactly what I put in that tweet — I didn’t know their politics, I spent a lot of time with them, I’m sure they were frustrated by all of the obstacles that were thrown in their way, and they had a mandate to do their job.”
“What are you supposed to do?” he added. “They didn’t want to be [Attorney General] Bill Barr’s Bill Barr.”
As the son of a man who spent 10 years in prison, I have consistantly opposed incarceration. That being said, Trump's vile smear job on the 4 DC prosecutors were appalling and ominous. In my experience, I found them to be professional, moral, ethical and non partisan.
— Randy Credico (@Credico2016) February 12, 2020
Credico went on to reiterate arguments he made in the Jan. 22 letter advocating against incarceration for Stone, saying that he was “morally against, opposed to the use of incarceration.”
“I don’t want to see anyone go to jail, thats my position,” Credico said. “My father was in the Ohio state reformatory, the most notorious prison in the country … I still have that in my DNA.”
“The guy is 68 years old, look,” Credico added. “I would have it on my mind the rest of my life.”