Steve Bannon called as Stone prosecution witness

Former White House strategist Steve Bannon arrives to testify for the federal trial of Roger Stone at federal court in Washington Friday Nov. 8 2019

Former White House strategist Steve Bannon arrives to testify for the federal trial of Roger Stone at federal court in Washington Friday Nov. 8 2019

Another high-profile witness in the case, former Trump campaign CEO Steve Bannon, also testified Friday.

Former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon is revealing new details about Roger Stone's work on the 2016 Trump campaign.

Stone, a colorful political operative and Trump ally, is charged with witness tampering and lying to Congress about his attempts to contacts WikiLeaks about damaging material during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Bannon appeared at least twice to contradict his grand jury testimony about the frequency with which he and Stone discussed WikiLeaks and about whether Stone was considered the campaign's "access point".

Comedian Randy Credico testified on Friday he did not believe that President Donald Trump's adviser Roger Stone truly meant to harm Credico's dog when he threatened to do so, which could undercut the government's witness-tampering case against Stone. For almost 90 minutes, defense attorney Robert Buschel challenged earlier testimony by Credico to show that Stone had reason to tell the House panel that the comic had been his source for public statements he made about WikiLeaks as it was releasing the documents.

However, when Bannon was asked why he emailed Stone on Oct 4, 2016 - the date WikiLeaks announced the dump of Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta's emails - Bannon replied, "Because Roger was the guy who knew about WikiLeaks and knew Julian Assange".

© Provided by The Associated Press New York radio host Randy Credico departs federal court following his appearance at the federal trial of Roger Stone, in Washington, Friday, Nov. 8, 2019. In cross examination by Stone's attorney Robert Buschel, Bannon acknowledged he was unaware of anyone in Trump's campaign ever formally dispatching Stone to learn when Assange might release more emails.

"I was led to believe he had a relationship with WikiLeaks and Julian Assange", Bannon said of Stone, referring to the WikiLeaks founder. He also appeared before a federal grand jury and testified before Congress about the matters. But the agent said she did not know what was discussed on those calls.

Stone also is accused of denying the existence of certain emails and texts, including email exchanges with Bannon, and falsely telling the committee that a radio host and comedian named Randy Credico was his "intermediary" with Assange in July 2016.

"He wanted me to go along with this narrative", Credico said in his second day of testimony.

"My lawyers are dying to rip you to shreds". Credico also testified that Stone used repeated references from the movie "The Godfather Part II" to intimidate him into either backing up Stone's testimony to Congress or refusing to testify. "I'm going to take that dog away from you", he said in the email, which Credico read aloud in court.

"I didn't want to rile the guy", Credico said. Despite their political differences, Stone was a regular guest on Credico's radio show.

The defense attorney implied that Credico had deliberately downplayed his relationship with Assange while testifying for the prosecution, reminding the jury that Credico had sent Stone a photo of him standing outside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where Assange had been granted asylum, and that he later dined with Assange in the embassy in 2017.

Credico's statement that he did not view Stone's threat against the dog as honest may undercut the government's claim of criminal intent, but the jury will also weigh many other comments and threats by Stone including one in which he said, "Prepare to die". But Judge Amy Berman Jackson disqualified the question when the prosecution objected. Credico wrote to Stone that a meeting with Assange, who was sheltering from prosecution in the Ecuadoran embassy, was "on the agenda". "I'm the bystander, [Stone] is driving the auto - I got hit on the side of the road".

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