Former Trump campaign aides Michael Caputo and Roger Stone both say they’re at a loss as to why the testimony of fellow aide Carter Page was released by the House Intelligence Committee, but their testimonies continue to be withheld, even though both men have asked for their transcripts to be made public.
All three testified as part of the committee's probe into Russia's possible influence on the Trump campaign, and Caputo and Stone have specific reasons for wanting their testimony released. But so far, only Page's was given to the public.
“My request stands,” Caputo told the Washington Examiner, after saying he was surprised to see the release of Page’s less than a week after Page testified.
“We were told that the secret nature of the briefing was really important to the investigation,” Caputo added. “And now we see that it’s not. So why my request hasn’t been granted — I’m frankly flummoxed by it.”
Stone said he and his lawyers tried to make every concession possible to have his transcript made public.
“We even proposed, you know, as a compromise, that they just agree to publish them unedited the very next day,” Stone told the Washington Examiner.
Both men believe releasing the transcripts is the only way for them to rebut the charges that were made against them publicly.
“That’s the whole point here, is that they make their aspersions against you in open session,” Stone added. “[Senator] Mark Warner said, ‘Roger Stone works for the Kremlin, we know that.’ No, we don’t know that. But then your chance to rebut comes in a closed session.”
Caputo wants his transcript released so he can defend himself against an accusation from Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., that he lied to the committee.
Caputo testified on July 14. Days later, in an appearance on CNN, Speier said, “From what I understand, Mr. Caputo has a number of questions he’s going to have to answer, because it appears that he may have actually lied.”
Speier also acknowledged to CNN she wasn’t in attendance for Caputo’s testimony. Caputo responded by filing a complaint against Speier with the Office of Congressional Ethics.
“So why they released Carter Page and not mine which actually had a very compelling reason — I’m confused," he said.
Other questions of releasing transcripts have gone unanswered as the numerous Russia probes continue in Congress.
When Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson testified to the Senate Judiciary Committee, he asked for the transcript to be released. Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, appeared warm to the idea, and said he’d order the committee to vote on it. Fusion GPS is the firm that paid for the production of what is now commonly known as the "Trump dossier, " “Russian dossier,” or “Steele dossier.”
In Stone’s case, one reason why the transcript hasn't been released may be that members of the House Intelligence Committee, ranking Democrat Adam Schiff of California among them, have claimed Stone hadn’t fully answered all of the questions. That means he might be asked to return.