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Caputo now says he did have contact with Russian during 2016 presidential campaign


The unending saga of the Russians and the 2016 election is continuing to spin. A local man involved in Republican politics is now telling a House committee and special counsel he met with a Russian offering to sell dirt on Hillary Clinton, but he had forgotten about it until recently.

East Aurora political operative Michael Caputo has filed paperwork with the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence that he had contact with a man usually identified as Henry Greenberg, but he had forgotten the event. Lawyer Dennis Vacco said Caputo remembered the meeting during recent preparation for examinations by the Office of Special Counsel and the Senate Intelligence Committee.

"In preparation for a meeting with the Office of Special Counsel and the Senate Committee on Intelligence, both of which we met with in early May," said Vacco. "So in the course of preparation for those two appearances, he recalled a contact that he had received, initiated by an individual by the name of Henry Greenberg."

Caputo discussed the claim of dirt on the Democratic candidate to GOP operative Roger Stone, who met with Greenberg in 2016, deciding there was nothing there. Vacco said he has hired private investigators who turned up information about Greenberg.

"In 2015, Henry Greenberg filed an affidavit in federal court, saying that for the past 17 years he's been an FBI informant and has even done some work for the FBI overseas," said Vacco. "He's a convicted felon both in Russia and in the United States."

2015 court documents show Greenberg had spent 17 years, on and off, providing the FBI with overseas information which led to arrests for human trafficking, money laundering and insurance fraud. Caputo has told reporters he believes Greenberg was working for the FBI when he contacted Caputo. Caputo said this was probably an FBI sting.

In an email exchange with The Washington Post, Greenberg said he was not working for the FBI when he met with Stone. Vacco said he has taken the whole situation to the Justice Department Office of Inspector General.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.
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