Washington (CNN)Conservative political provocateur Roger Stone met in May 2016 with a Russian who offered damaging information about Hillary Clinton in exchange for $2 million, Stone and former Trump campaign communications official Michael Caputo told CNN on Sunday.
Stone and Caputo say the meeting was part of a larger effort by law enforcement to set up the Trump campaign, citing records suggesting that the man Stone met with is a Russian national who has claimed to be an FBI informant.
In letters to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes obtained by CNN, lawyers for Caputo and Stone say Caputo arranged a meeting between Stone and the Russian man who called himself Henry Greenberg.
Caputo’s lawyer writes that his client facilitated the meeting through his Russian business partner. Greenberg told Caputo he “had information about Hillary Clinton he wanted to provide to the Trump campaign,” the letter says.
Caputo and Stone did not disclose the meeting to congressional investigators, but it has become a focus in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the Trump campaign, according to the Post.
In the letters to Nunes, the two political operatives assert that they were transparent in their testimony before the committee, despite not disclosing the meeting with Greenberg.
Caputo told CNN he communicated with Greenberg by phone, and while he recognized that Greenberg had an accent, Caputo “assumed he was a US citizen.”
Caputo said he now believes the Russian who met with Stone was an FBI informant because “the OSC (Office of Special Counsel) knew more about it than I did.” He added that it was not until prosecutors informed him that Greenberg was Russian that he learned the man he had spoken with in 2016 was not a US citizen.
“I was under the understanding that he was an American citizen of Russian descent,” Caputo said. “I had no reason to believe that, I just assumed it.”
The letter from Caputo’s lawyer states that during his testimony with the House Intelligence committee, he “answered all questions with candor and to the best of his recollection.”
However, Caputo’s lawyer wrote that during his interview with the special counsel, which took place more than a month ago, “his recollection was refreshed regarding one brief interaction with a Russian national in May of 2016.”
“In the course of his interview with the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, this specific contact was not discussed since at the time of this interview, Mr. Caputo had simply forgotten about this brief encounter in 2016,” the letter states.
Caputo’s lawyer relayed that he would be willing to brief the committee on the matter.
In his letter to Nunes, Stone’s lawyer similarly called the testimony “entirely truthful,” adding that Stone “feels obligated” to disclose the meeting because of “information brought to his attention after his appearance.”