No joke! Credico to testify in ‘Russiagate’ probe; Stone stews

Randy Credico, left, and Roger Stone at the former Yippie Cafe on Bleecker St. in 2009 at a comedy night that Credico hosted. In his turn with the microphone, Stone railed at length against excessively punitive drug laws that have sent low-level offenders to jail for many years, and he praised Credico for his advocacy on reforming the drug laws.

BY LINCOLN ANDERSON | Updated Wed., Aug. 15, 11 p.m.: Asked how he views the prospect of being questioned before a grand jury as part of Robert Mueller’s “Russiagate” inquiry, Randy Credico, as he is apt to do, referenced a Hollywood movie.

“I look at it like Frank Pentangeli in ‘The Godfather Part II,’” the standup comic-turned-radio journalist told The Villager.

Last Thursday, Martin Stolar, Credico’s attorney, received an e-mailed subpoena from the office of Special Counsel Mueller, saying that Credico is expected for questioning in federal district court in Washington, D.C., on Fri., Sept. 7. As of now, Credico is not taking the Fifth.

“I believe he plans to testify,” Stolar said. However, he added, Credico could always change his mind between now and then.

“If you don’t, they put you in contempt [of court],” Credico said, noting that defying the order to testify could mean jail.

Last November, Credico was subpoenaed by the House Intelligence Committee to give a deposition — basically, to answer questions in a room (as opposed to before the actual committee) that would provide a “road map” for when the committee did eventually question him. However, the next month, Credico pleaded the Fifth Amendment — the right to avoid self-incrimination — and the committee waived his requirement to come to D.C.

The House Intelligence Committee ended its own “Russiagate” probe this past March, but the Mueller investigation, of course, to the vexation of President Trump and his attorney, Rudy Giuliani, continues on.

Asked why Credico snubbed the House committee subpoena but is responding to Mueller’s, Stolar indicated the latter is far more serious.

“This is a federal investigation and a horse of another color,” he said.

As for Mueller’s target, or targets, in the grand-jury proceeding, Stolar said, “They have not indicated to me what the subject matter will be,” but added, “It’s a pretty good guess it’s Roger Stone and Julian Assange.”

It has been widely reported that Stone — the longtime Republican operative and briefly a Trump campaign adviser in 2016 — last year told congressional probers that Credico was his “back channel” to WikiLeaks’ Assange.

Stone remains in the crosshairs of the ongoing investigation into alleged Russian collusion in the 2016 presidential election. In August 2016, the notorious G.O.P. lobbyist hinted that WikiLeaks would be publishing damaging e-mails from John Podesta — Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager — gloatingly tweeting, “It will soon [be] Podesta’s turn in the barrel.” Then, in October 2016, Stone showed possible advance knowledge of another e-mail “dump” that would harm the candidate, when he tweeted, “Wednesday Hillary Clinton is done #WikiLeaks.”

Stolar assured that Mueller is not going after Credico.

 

‘I can tell you that Randy is not a target.’

— Martin Stolar

 

“I can tell you that Randy is not a target,” he said, adding, “They’re not looking for records. That’s not in the subpoena. It doesn’t say ‘duces tecum’ — which means, ‘bring it with you.’”

As for records, however, in June, Credico told The Villager that he gave his computer and cell phone to a writer for a national publication, who may be doing an article on the whole affair.

Attorney Stolar would not divulge whether or not he advised Credico not to take the Fifth in this latest case. If Credico were to plead the Fifth, it’s possible he could be granted immunity from self-incrimination were he to testify.

“There is no immunity” in this instance, though, Stolar explained, since Credico has not taken the Fifth. “The best advice is to go in there and tell the truth.”

Indeed, Stolar noted, Credico — even if he were hypothetically protected from self-incrimination — could still be convicted of perjury if he were to lie while under oath.

Stolar won’t be allowed inside the grand jury room — but said he will be waiting outside. He said an assistant U.S. attorney general will be questioning Credico before the jury. There will be no live stream of the proceedings, because, by their nature, grand juries are secret — to protect the privacy of individuals who are not ultimately indicted, Stolar noted.

For his part, Credico, when reached for comment, said he was not interested in discussing his former “frenemy” Stone.

“I’m not going to talk about Roger Stone,” he stated. “I’m not going to be defined by Roger Stone anymore. I’ve got too rich of a background to be dragged down by this Roger Stone stuff.”

Specifically, Credico said, he wants people to know about his history of activism, such as fighting to repeal the draconian Rockefeller drug laws.

With pressure from the “Russiagate” probe mounting, two months ago Credico accused Stone of making e-mailed threats against him. Credico provided screenshots to The Villager of select, allegedly recent messages Stone sent him, such as, “[Wayne] Barrett rots in hell and you shall soon join him. It’s over! You lose!” and “You are the last person I would have thought would help the Deep State f— Assange — wearing a f—ing wire. Everyone is [sic] says u are wearing a wire for Mueller” and “I am so ready. Let’s get it on c—sucker. Prepare to die.”

In turn, Credico told The Villager back then, “I’m going to bury [Stone],” noting he had given his computer and phone — containing all the correspondence between the two — to the national writer.

Stone, though, said the e-mails Credico sent The Villager were likely doctored and also taken out of context.

Randy Credico, left, and Roger Stone at the former Yippie Cafe nine years ago.

Asked to comment for this article, and specifically if he thinks he is the target of the grand jury, Stone initially replied with a cryptic one-letter text: “w”.

Later, though, asked if he thought Credico would testify truthfully, he did respond.

“I have testified truthfully before the House Intelligence Committee that Randy Credico was the source who confirmed Assange’s June 2016 CNN interview, in which the WikiLeaks publisher said he had substantial information on Hillary Clinton,” Stone said in a text message. “As I testified, Credico told me this material would be released in October. I now realize that Credico’s source was a WikiLeaks lawyer and not Assange himself.

“At no time, did Credico tell me what the source, content or scope of the WikiLeaks disclosures would be,” Stone wrote. “I would note that Mr. Credico has avoided testifying on these matters under oath. If he is compelled to testify, I would urge Mr. Credico to simply tell the truth. Any deviation from these facts as stated would be perjury, which I could easily prove and will.”

 

‘I have two credible witnesses [with] sworn affidavits from both.’

– Roger Stone

 

In another text, Stone then added, “I have two credible witnesses to whom Randy admitted he told me Assange had devastating information on Hillary. My lawyers have sworn affidavits from both #fucked.”

Asked to characterize these witnesses, Stone simply responded, “People he ran his mouth to.”

At one point, Credico told this newspaper that, for any further questions about the grand jury proceeding, the person to talk to would be Margaret Ratner, the widow of famed radical attorney William Kunstler.

“Margaret’s talking for me now,” he said.

Former East Village activist John Penley has been following the whole convoluted story with interest. If Ratner instead of Stolar is now, in fact, representing Credico, he said, it could well pose problems for both Credico and Assange. That’s because, in Penley’s understanding, Assange has been represented by the Center for Constitutional Rights, with which Ratner has been affiliated. Ratner worked as an attorney and education director with C.C.R. More recently, according to her bio on the Hrbek Law firm page, Ratner has advised WikiLeaks on grand jury subpoenas. Penley noted that Credico said he originally contacted Assange through a C.C.R. connection.

Ratner did not respond to a request for comment.

Meanwhile, the Senate Intelligence Committee, which still has an active “Russiagate” probe going on, recently asked Assange to submit to questioning at a to-be-determined location, and he is reportedly considering doing so.

The Ecuadorian embassy in London is said to be on the verge of evicting Assange, and British authorities would likely arrest him immediately thereafter on bond-jumping charges, Penley noted. Depending on whether Assange is extradited to the U.S., he could face questioning here or in England. Stolar said the U.S. surely has a “sealed indictment” that it would slap on Assange at the earliest possible moment.

“If they are involved in the information loop,” Penley said, referring to C.C.R., “Assange might have to get a new legal team.”

Frenemies forever? Randy Credico, left, and Roger Stone in a happier moment.

A bigger issue, though, he said, is if Assange does wind up being questioned and tells a different version of events than Credico.

But Stolar quashed such speculation.

“I am still his lawyer,” he stated. “Margaret’s a longtime friend of Randy’s, and also one of his attorneys. Margaret can be his spokesperson. I’m his lawyer. As far as the government is concerned, I’m his lawyer. They sent me the subpoena.”

Basically, Stolar said, in addition to him, a number of attorneys have also been advising Credico.

Credico knows Ratner from formerly having lived in the Kunstlers’ Greenwich Village townhouse on Gay St. off and on for years, and also having headed the William Moses Kunstler Fund for Racial Justice. He wouldn’t divulge where he’s living right now, though.

As for Credico’s relationship with Ratner “compromising” Assange’s legal representation, though, Stolar said, “I’ve got nothing to say about that. I don’t even know if Assange has a legal team. It’s irrelevant anyway.”

And if Credico and Assange were to tell conflicting stories while under oath?

“So what?” Stolar retorted. “Don’t lose the focus here. This is all a f—ing sideshow. Trump is the focus here and his racist policies and anything that’ll knock that down… . But,” he shrugged, “that’s just my opinion.”

As for WikiLeaks, the attorney said, “WikiLeaks doesn’t give a damn” who sends it information to publish. Also, he added, the U.S. has wanted to bring in Assange since well before the 2016 election. It was in 2010 that WikiLeaks published leaked military information supplied by Chelsea Manning, including the “Collateral Murder” Baghdad helicopter-shooting video, plus international diplomatic cables, among others.

“What got him into trouble in the first place, it wasn’t Trump or Hillary,” Stolar said of the WikiLeaks founder. “It was about national security.”

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