No joke, Roger Stone engaged in "lowbrow character attacks," spun "conspiracy tales" and threatened to kill a friend's dog, but he does not deserve to go to prison — according to the comedian whose testimony led to the Republican operative's conviction on federal criminal charges.
Randy Credico, a New York radio personality, asked for mercy for Stone in an emotional letter this week to the judge set to sentence the longtime friend and political advisor of President Donald Trump for his crimes next month in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C.
"I am writing to respectfully yet fervently implore you not to sentence Roger Stone to prison," wrote Credico, a former associate of Stone's, in his letter to Judge Amy Berman Jackson, which was placed on the court's docket Thursday.
"It is not justice" to send Stone to prison, Credico wrote. "It is cruelty."
The letter cites Stone's work with Credico in the early 2000s trying to reform New York state drug laws, and the emotional damage to Credico's own family from his father having served a decade in prison before getting married and having kids.
"I know the damage firsthand" from people going to prison, wrote Credico.
The letter noted that he and his siblings as adults all "struggled with addiction and/or alcoholism" after growing up with a father who suffered from the "mental scars" of incarceration.
Credico was the star witness at the trial in November of Stone, a self-admitted dirty trickster who is set to be sentenced Feb. 20.
He testified how Stone tried to get him to back up Stone's lies to Congress about his contacts with the document disclosure organization WikiLeaks during the 2016 presidential election.
Credico also detailed how Stone threatened to kill Credico's beloved dog Bianca if the funnyman did not endorse Stone's false claim to lawmakers that Credico was his source for information about emails that WikiLeak had, which were hacked by Russian agents from computers belonging to the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton's campaign chief.
"You are a rat. A stoolie. You backstab your friends," Stone wrote Credico in April 2018. "I am so ready. Let's get it on. Prepare to die."
Despite such violent bombast by Stone, Credico, in his letter to Jackson, noted how he told Stone's defense lawyer at trial that he never believed Stone was actually going to steal or harm Bianca.
"I chalked up his bellicose tirades to 'Stone being Stone,' " Credico wrote. "All bark and no bite."
"Roger Stone certain rubs a lot of people the wrong way, particularly those on the receiving end of his wee hour lowbrow character attacks," Credico wrote. "Stone enjoys playing adolescent mind games and pulling off juvenile stunts, gags and pranks. He shamelessly invents and promotes outlandlish and invidious conspiracy tales."
"But the bottom line is Mr. Stone, at his core, is an insecure person who craves and recklessly pursues attention," Credico wrote. "Like Billy Wilder's tragic fictional character Norma Desmond, Stone is always at the ready for that 'close-up.' "
"Prison is no remedy."
Credico said Stone, "with all his talent and knowledge," would be "an ideal candidate" for an "alternative to incarceration program that would serve and benefit need organizations or distressed communities."
A person who answered the phone at the office of Stone's lawyer, L. Peter Farkas, declined to comment on Credico's letter, noting that Jackson had imposed a gag order in the case.
Read Randy Credico's letter to Judge Amy Berman Jackson: