Federal prosecutors cannot play a clip from “The Godfather, Part II” in court during the trial of political consultant Roger StoneRoger Jason StoneMeet Trump’s most trusted pollsters 3 real problems Republicans need to address to win in 2020 Judge rejects Stone’s request to dismiss charges MORE, a judge ruled Monday.
U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson, who is overseeing the case against the consultant, agreed with his attorneys that the clip could unfairly prejudice jurors.
“The government will not be permitted to introduce the clip itself in its case in chief because the prejudicial effect of the videotape, which includes a number of extraneous matters, outweighs its probative value,” Jackson, an Obama appointee, ruled Monday.
However, she said prosecutors are free to use a transcript of the scene.
The indictment against Stone charges that he pressured an associate to “do a Frank Pentangeli” in his testimony. Pentangeli, played in the 1974 film by Michael V. Gazzo, is a lieutenant in the Corleone mafia family who recants incriminating Senate testimony after the family arranges for his brother to sit in the audience for the hearing.
Stone, a longtime informal adviser to President TrumpDonald John TrumpZuckerberg launches public defense of Facebook as attacks mount Trump leaning toward keeping a couple hundred troops in eastern Syria: report Warren says making Israel aid conditional on settlement building is ‘on the table’ MORE, is charged with seven felonies, including witness tampering and lying to Congress. He has pleaded not guilty and is free on bond.
Stone’s trial is set to begin Nov. 5 in Washington, D.C.
Jackson said in her ruling that after the jury hears testimony from Stone and Randy Credico, the associate he is believed to have sent the message to, prosecutors may request to play the clip again.
Read judge’s ruling by kballuck1 on Scribd
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