Prosecutors reveal threats Roger Stone wrote to Mueller witness: ‘You are a rat. Prepare to die’

Chris Riotta
Roger Stone arrives for the continuation of his trial on charges of lying to Congress, obstructing justice and witness tampering in Washington DC: REUTERS

Prosecutors have unveiled evidence of Roger Stone urging a witness in former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation not to testify through a series of threats and incendiary messages.

The texts were shown during the Republican operative’s criminal trial that kicked off this week. Mr Stone, who was arrested earlier this year, is charged with witness tampering, obstructing justice and lying to congressional investigators. He denies all the charges.

In a text message to Randy Credico, a radio host, Mr Stone wrote: “You are a rat. A stoolie. You backstab your friends-run your mouth my lawyers are dying Rip you to shreds.”

He added: “I am so ready. Let’s get it on. Prepare to die [expletive].”

Mr Credico interviewed Wikileaks founder Julian Assange on his show during the presidential election in August 2016.

Mr Stone previously told congressional investigators he had a “back channel” to Assange, and suggested Mr Credico was involved in those communications.

Mr Credico has denied the allegations, and Mr Stone’s claims could not be corroborated.

In fact, the radio host’s interview with Mr Assange occurred a month after the timeline Mr Stone provided to investigators.

Mr Credico seemingly confronted Mr Stone about his testimony linking the radio host to a secretive “back channel” with Wikileaks in a December 2017 text exchange.

He wrote: “I don’t know why you had to lie and say you had a backchannel. You could have just told them the truth … You want me to cover you for perjury now.”

Mr Stone replied: “I guarantee you, you are the one who gets indicted for perjury if you are stupid enough to testify.”

The longtime associate of Donald Trump went on to threaten to “take that dog away from you”, apparently referring to the radio host’s dog Bianca.

Mr Credico ultimately did refuse to testify to the Mueller inquiry into alleged links between the Trump campaign and Russia - exercising his fifth amendment right not to incriminate himself - but later agreed to be interviewed by the FBI.

Of the seven counts Mr Stone faces, witness tampering carries the highest potential prison sentence at a maximum of 20 years. Obstruction and lying to Congress carry a maximum of five years each.

Mr Stone's lawyer, Bruce Rogow, told the jury in opening statements on Wednesday that his client did not willfully and intentionally mislead Congress, and said Mr Stone did not have any intermediaries with Wikileaks.

Reuters contributed to this report

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