Leave it to Roger Stone, the brash and colorful Donald Trump associate under indictment on accusations of lying to and obstructing a congressional committee, to allegedly reference the Godfather II. At least that’s what Stone’s accused of doing in a new indictment, which says Stone made a reference to a movie character named Frank Pentangeli.
Who is that character and what was his storyline? Frank Pentangeli, otherwise known as Frankie Pentangeli or Francisco Pentangeli, was a character once close to Vito Corleone in the Godfather: Part II (You had to know that the Godfather would turn up somewhere in this long-simmering narrative.) You can read the full indictment against Roger Stone here. Michael V. Gazzo played the character in the movie, in which Pentangeli becomes a key figure in the FBI’s attempts to get Michael Corleone, Vito’s son, on a perjury charge. You can watch scenes from the 1974 movie later in this article.
Stone’s arrest was the latest move on the Robert Mueller chessboard. Stone has insisted for months that he’s been unfairly targeted and won’t flip on Donald Trump for anything. Stone’s lawyer told Politico: “Roger intends to fight these trumped up baseless charges that have nothing to do with the original intent of the special counsel’s investigation.”
Here’s what you need to know about the alleged Stone Godfather movie reference:
Roger Stone Referenced a Character Who Lied to Congress About Mafia Leader Michael Corleone, the Indictment Alleges
Here’s where the indictment brings in the Godfather. It alleges:
On multiple occasions, including on or about December 1, 2017, STONE told Person 2 that Person 2 should do a “Frank Pentangeli” before HPSCI in order to avoid contradicting STONE’s testimony. Frank Pentangeli is a character in the film The Godfather: Part II, which both STONE and Person 2 had discussed, who testifies before a congressional committee and in that testimony claims not to know critical information that he does in fact know.
Politico reports that Person 2 is a radio host named Randy Credico. The indictment does not name Person 2, however.
According to a Godfather Fandom Wiki, Frank Pentangeli is also known as “Frankie Pants” and “Frankie Five Angels” and was a “caporegime” in the Corleone family that is at the core of the Godfather movies (who doesn’t know Marlon Brando’s Don Corleone…)
The Wiki reports that Pentangeli was an “old associate and friend of Vito Corleone, having worked with him in the early days of the olive oil business” and was involved in running the “family operations in New York while Michael Corleone was in Nevada.”
The analogy here is that Pentangeli was called to testify before a Senate Committee in the movie. You can read the exchange here. At one point in the scene, a Senator states, “We have here finally a witness that will further testify to Michael Corleone’s rule over a criminal empire that controls all of the gambling in this country and perhaps in other countries. This witness has had no buffer between himself and Michael Corleone. He can corroborate our charges on enough counts for this committee to recommend a charge of perjury against Michael Corleone.” Will Pentangeli be the downfall of the Corleone Family?
But it doesn’t unfold that way. Pentangeli lies to the committee and pretends he doesn’t know anything important about Corleone.
You can read more quotes from the character here. In one line from the movie, Pentangeli told a Senator, “I don’t – I never knew no godfather. I got my own family, senator.” He also says: “I don’t know nothin’ about that.. Oh! I was in the Olive Oil business with his father but that was a long time ago. That’s all.”
He also states, “Look, the FBI guys, they promised me a deal. So, so I made up a lot of stuff about Michael Corleone ’cause that’s what they wanted. But it was all lies. Uh, everything. And I kept saying Michael Corleone did this and Michael Corleone did that. So, I said yeah sure — why not?”
Other famous lines attributed to Pentangeli are “Those were the great old days,you know… And we was like the Roman Empire… The Corleone family was like the Roman Empire…” and (to Michael Corleone): “Your father did business with Hyman Roth, he respected Hyman Roth… but he never *trusted* Hyman Roth!”
In the movie, Petangeli ends up in protective custody of authorities after a shootout that makes Michael Corleone think he is dead. Once one of Vito Corleone’s closest associates, Michael and Pentangeli tangle over how to deal with other characters known as the Rosati Brothers who are vying for territory. Pentangeli thinks that Michael wanted him murdered, so he initially turns on Michael and gives incriminating statements about him to the feds, who are trying to get Corleone on perjury. Pentangeli’s recantation occurs after Michael brings Pentangeli’s brother to the hearing from Italy. Eventually, Pentangeli kills himself after being promised by a top Corleone associate that his family will be taken care of if he does. He’s considered a traitor despite his switched testimony. It’s believed that Pentangeli is worried that his brother, who is a Mafia leader, will retaliate against Pentangeli’s own children if Pentangeli goes through with testimony helping the government build a case against Michael Corleone. You can read a more detailed version of the aforementioned plot here.
What’s the government alleging about Stone? Read on.
Stone Is Accused of Lying & Misleading Congress About Contacts With WikiLeaks & Julian Assange Through an ‘Intermediary’
Roger Stone, who has known Trump for years, is accused, on December 1, 2017, of texting Person 2, “And if you turned over anything to the FBI you’re a fool.” Further, he’s accused of saying: “If you testify you’re a fool. Because of tromp (sic) I could never get away with a certain (sic) my Fifth Amendment rights but you can. I guarantee you you are the one who gets indicted for perjury if you’re stupid enough to testify.”
He’s also accused of writing in an email to person 2 on April 9, 2018, “You are a rat. A stoolie. You backstab your friends – run your mouth my lawyers are dying Rip you to shreds.” He also said he would “take that dog away from you,” referring to person 2’s dog, the complaint alleges, and is accused of writing, “I am so ready. Let’s get it on. Prepare to die (expletive).”
The indictment focuses on the hacking of the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s computer systems. The indictment then discusses how documents stolen from the DNC were released by an organization dubbed “Organization 1” in the indictment. That’s a reference, many news sites have reported, to WikiLeaks.
Stone, says the indictment, was an official with the Donald Trump campaign until around August 2015 and remained in contact with the campaign through the 2016 election.
“During the summer of 2016, Stone spoke to senior Trump Campaign officials about Organization 1 and information it might have had that would be damaging to the Clinton Campaign. Stone was contacted by senior Trump Campaign officials to inquire about future releases by Organization 1,” says the indictment.
Various investigations, including by the FBI, and U.S. House of Representatives Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence all opened investigations or announced them into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, which included “Stone’s claims of contact with Organization 1,” alleges the indictment.
The indictment claims that Stone made multiple false statements to HPSCI about his interactions with Organization 1. It also alleges that he “attempted to persuade a witness to provide false testimony to and withhold pertinent information from the investigation.”
The indictment describes that witness as a “radio host who had known Stone for more than a decade.”
Person 2 was described as an intermediary, go between and mutual friend to the head of Organization 1, named in various news reports as Julian Assange. The indictment alleges that a senior Trump campaign official “was directed to contact Stone about any additional releases and what other damaging information Organization 1 had regarding the Clinton Campaign.”
The indictment alleges a series of communications between “Person 2” and Stone about when and what Assange would release regarding hacked Clinton emails. The indictment alleges that Stone falsely claimed he had no emails or text messages referring to Assange.
He also gave false and misleading statements about communicating with Julian Assange via this intermediary, according to the indictment. He’s accused of giving false statements to HPSCI about his communications with the alleged “intermediary” and with individuals involved in the Trump campaign about Wikileaks.
There is a person 1 and person 2 listed in the indictment but not named. It accuses that Stone wanted person 2, if asked by HPSCI, to back up Stone’s testimony.
He was accused of telling Person 2 things like “Stonewall it. Plead the fifth. Anything to save the plan.”