Roger Stone should perhaps change his name to Rosetta stone, because a lot of people on all ends of the political spectrum are worried what will happen if Stone ends up going to prison. Some are worried about what dirt he might dish on Donald Trump, others are worried about what vengeance he might seek against the people who put him there. Randy Credico is the Mueller investigation witness that Roger Stone has been convicted of threatening. He told a journalist a few months ago that “if Stone goes to jail, I’m a walking dead man.” Michelle Goldberg, New York Times:
On Thursday, after the president’s intervention to get Stone a lighter sentence convulsed the Justice Department, I spoke to Credico, a left-wing comedian and activist, and he elaborated on what he’d meant. “The guy goes to prison and I’m to blame, and you’re being called a rat, you’re worried about somebody with a red hat, a MAGA hat, doing a Jack Ruby on you,” he said.
His fear has national implications, because a central question in the Stone sentencing is whether Credico truly felt endangered when Stone promised to cause him harm. Despite what the administration’s defenders say, the answer is yes.
Credico wrote a letter to the judge regarding his qualms, and the letter has since been picked up by Fox News, who twisted it’s meaning and exploited it for their own purposes. Credico is no stranger to what a term in prison can do to a man. His father was convicted of safe cracking and put behind bars for a decade and came out, understandably, a broken man. That prompted Credico to remark “I would ask for leniency for Hannibal Lecter.” He said this, even though Roger Stone threatened to kidnap his dog and said to him, “Prepare to die! (expletive)”
It was out of a combination of anxiety and idealism that, following Stone’s conviction, Credico wrote to the judge in the case, asking that she show Stone mercy. “I don’t want to see a guy go to prison because of me, it’s going to be on my conscience, plus it’s going to anger a lot of people out there who called me a rat,” he told me. Now, because of that letter, Credico finds himself near the center of the unfolding scandal over Donald Trump and Attorney General Bill Barr’s intervention in Stone’s sentencing. His words are being used by Trump allies to argue that the prosecutors in the Stone case went overboard. “Unfortunately, they’re exploiting it for their own agenda,” he said of his letter. […]
Yet defenders of Trump and Barr are pointing to Credico’s letter to suggest that they were remedying an injustice, rather than perpetrating one. On Fox News, Katie Pavlich claimed that Credico “said that it was actually a joke and they talk about stuff like that all the time and he actually didn’t feel intimidated.” In the D.O.J.’s updated Stone sentencing memo, Credico’s letter is an important part of the case for a shorter prison term. Credico, the memo said, “asserts that he did not perceive a genuine threat from the defendant but rather stated that ‘I never in any way felt that Stone himself posed a direct physical threat to me or my dog.’”
Note the wording: Stone himself. “I never thought Stone personally was going to do it himself,” Credico told me. Rather, he thought that one of Stone’s supporters might. “I look like the guy that’s gonna be the guy that’s gonna force Stone to talk to the feds and say everything that he knows on the president,” he said. “So I’m expendable at that point. That’s what I’m thinking.”
Paradoxically, Bill Barr believes in coming down hard on criminals — unless they happen to be friends of Donald Trump’s and then it’s a different set of rules altogether. In her column, Goldberg goes on to point out that last August, Barr lambasted progressive prosecutors, because they “spend their time undercutting the police, letting criminals off the hook, and refusing to enforce the laws.” This is classic irony, since six months later Barr is only too willing to let Stone off the hook. Barr seems to be an afficionado of the ways of former Peruvian president, Óscar Benavides, who was quoted as saying, “For my friends, everything. For my enemies, the law.” Voila, an encapsulation of Trump’s philosophy, to a tee. Just like Trump has two sets of tax books, one for the IRS and one for lenders, Barr and Trump keep two sets of law books. The Stone sentencing is going to prove seminal in deciding which set of laws reigns in our land.