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Roger Stone trial goes off the rails as jury ordered not to watch 'The Godfather'

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Image: Former Trump campaign adviser Stone departs following the second day
Roger Stone, former campaign adviser to U.S. President Donald Trump, departs the U.S. District Court following the second day of his criminal trial in Washington on Nov. 6, 2019. -
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Tom Brenner Reuters
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It's a movie the jury should refuse.

The federal judge presiding over longtime Donald Trump adviser Roger Stone's criminal trial told jurors on Thursday not to watch "The Godfather" during the trial.

"Don't download 'The Godfather' on Netflix," U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson told the jury as testimony wrapped up for the day. The two days of testimony in Stone's trial oncharges of lying to Congress, obstructing justice and witness tampering have included numerous referencesto the "Godfather" films.

Stone, 67, is accused of lying under oath about his efforts to contact WikiLeaksduring the 2016 campaign.

Stone has said he using radio host and comedian Randy Credico as an intermediary to get messages to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

Prosecutors said that he threatened Credico to make sure he didn't cooperate with investigators, urging him to "do a Frank Pentangeli." Pentangeli is a character in "The Godfather: Part II" who is pressured to lie to a congressional committee to avoid implicating the head of the fictional Corleone crime family. Pentangeli lies to Congress and then kills himself afterward.

Tom Hagen (Robert Duvall) tells Frankie Pentangeli (Michael V. Gazzo), who has betrayed the Godfather, about the noble way treasonous Roman emperors ended their lives with honor in Francis Ford Coppola\'s "The Godfather: Part II."
Tom Hagen (Robert Duvall) tells Frankie Pentangeli (Michael V. Gazzo), who has betrayed the Godfather, about the noble way treasonous Roman emperors ended their lives with honor in Francis Ford Coppola\'s "The Godfather: Part II."John Springer Collection

Before the trial started, prosecutors had asked to play the scene for the jury, but the judge denied the request.

Stone's lawyer, Bruce Rogow, told jurors in his opening statement that his client was just kidding around with Credico. He noted that Credico "is an impressionist" and said Pentangeli is one of his characters.

Credico does do a number of impressions — including Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, Jack Nicholson, Al Pacino and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who is not a fan of the "Godfather" movies.

But Pentangeli is not on his list, he said. "He wasn't somebody I would do in my act," he testified Thursday.

He did treat the courtroom to a brief Bernie Sanders impression before the judge stopped him.

"I know you're a comedian but this is serious business," she said.

Credico is expected to continue testifying Friday. Other witnesses set to be called in the case are former Trump campaign chief Steve Bannon and former campaign deputy Rick Gates, who prosecutors say each had numerous conversations with Stone.

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