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Federal prosecutors claim Roger Stone used a “The Godfather Part II” reference to advocate for a witness to lie and motioned to use a clip from the movie as evidence in the trial of the one-time Trump campaign adviser.
“The relevant scene is important context for understanding Stone’s references — including what Stone intended to communicate to the witness and how Stone would have understood the witness’ likely understanding of those messages,” Friday’s motion read.
The evidence will be used to help prove alleged witness tampering “with Person 2” via a text message that read “Start practicing your Pantagele [sic],” according to prosecutors.
“The movie clip makes clear that in his communications with Person 2, Stone used the name ‘Frank Pentangeli’ and the lines spoken by that character to persuade Person 2 to behave as Frank Pentangeli did in the movie, i.e., to falsely tell a congressional committee that he did not have knowledge of incriminating information that could lead to perjury charges,” the motion argued.
“The movie clip shows the jury the image that Stone intended to evoke in Person 2’s mind when he sent those communications. To not show the clip at trial would deprive jurors of significant context for understanding critical messages in this case.”
In “The Godfather Part II,” Pentangeli was to testify about his involvement in organized crime but changed his mind and denied any knowledge of Michael Corleone’s crime family when the mob boss entered the hearing.