As America celebrates the 45th anniversary of the release of the classic mob movie “The Godfather: Part II,” one small group of Americans has been banned from even so much as looking at any of the “Godfather” films.
On Thursday, the federal judge presiding over political gadfly Roger Stone’s criminal trial on charges of obstructing a federal investigation related to the hacking of the Democratic National Committee in 2016 ordered jurors to avoid seeing the movies.
“Don’t download ‘The Godfather’ on Netflix,” District Judge Amy Berman Jackson told the jury on Thursday, according to NBC.
“Do a Frank Pentangeli,” Stone texted Credico in 2017 as Credico was preparing to testify before a congressional committee.
Prosecutors said the message was designed to urge Credico not to reveal what he knew about Stone’s activities.
In the 1974 film, the character of Pentangeli is hauled before a congressional panel to testify about a character’s connection to organized crime.
“I don’t know nothing about that,” Pentangeli said in the film. After lying to the committee, Pentangeli later commits suicide.
Stone’s lawyer, Bruce Rogow, had said the text was a joke, because Credico was an impressionist and Pentangeli was a character Credico did in his acts. Credico later said that he did impressions of some “Godfather” characters, but not Pentangeli.
Prosecutors had wanted to play the scene before the jury. Rogow had opposed that and the judge ultimately ruled that the clip could not be played.
“Once the door is opened with a movie clip, which no doubt will accompany an explanation of why it is being played, the trial detours to a Mafia trial and Stone’s connection to it, with all of its history and folklore,” Rogow said in a brief filed with the court.
The trial’s early days included other “Godfather” references.
During cross-examination, Credico said he first brought up Pentangeli to Stone.
Credico also admitted calling 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton “Luca Brasi,” a hitman in the film.
Prosecutors have said Stone tried to intimidate Credico, according to The Washington Post.
“You are a rat. A stoolie. You backstab your friends. I am so ready. Let’s get it on. Prepare to die. . . .” Stone wrote Credico in 2018, according to a message introduced by the prosecution.
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