House Committee Plans to Interview Trump Campaign Communications Adviser About Russia Ties
As part of its probe into Russian election interference, the House Intelligence Committee has reached out to a Donald Trump presidential campaign communications adviser, Michael Caputo.
The House panel has requested that Caputo “produce certain documents and other materials to the Committee and participate in a voluntary, transcribed interview at the Committee’s offices,” according to a copy of a May 9 letter obtained by CNN.
The New York Times was the first to report on the committee’s requests.
The House panel asked that Caputo submit any documents or materials by Monday that “reasonably could lead to the discovery of any facts within the investigation’s publicly-announced parameters.”
Caputo has complied with the committee’s request for documents, a source familiar with the matter said.
The committee said an interview could entail discussing “Russian cyber activities directed against the 2016 US election, potential links between Russia and individuals associated with political campaigns, the US government’s response to these Russian active measures, and related leaks of classified information.”
The FBI and both chambers of Congress are investigating whether there were improper contacts between Trump associates and Russia during the 2016 election.
During a March 20 House Intelligence hearing featuring then-FBI Director James Comey and NSA Director Mike Rogers, Rep. Jackie Speier, a Democrat from California, invoked Caputo’s name as part of a “tarantula web” of links to Russia. She mentioned his former work in Russia, his marriage to a Russian woman and his work for “Gazprom-Media to improve Putin’s image in the United States.”
Caputo has asked to participate in public testimony to clear his name, according to a source familiar with the situation. In recent months, the former campaign communications adviser has repeatedly taken to social media to reject accusations of links between Russia and Trump’s campaign.
In his written response to the committee, Caputo said he neither had contact with Russian officials nor discussed Russia with Trump or other campaign aides while working for the campaign from November 2015 until June 2016.
“The only time the President and I talked about Russia was in 2013, when he simply asked me in passing what it was like to live there in the context of a dinner conversation,” Caputo wrote to the committee.