Two Trump campaign associates say they were approached in May 2016 by a Russian national who offered to sell damaging information about Hillary Clinton for $2 million. But the Russian, who went by the alias Henry Greenberg, also worked for years as an FBI informant, say the former campaign associates, Michael Caputo and Roger Stone.
The outreach by Greenberg, whose real name is Gennadiy Vasilievich Vostretsov, took on new significance for Caputo and Stone after revelations that the FBI used an informant named Stefan Halper to contact three other Trump campaign associates.
“Mr. Stone believes it is likely that Mr. Greenberg was actively working on behalf of the FBI at the time of their meeting with the intention of entrapping Mr. Stone and to infiltrate and compromise the Trump effort,” Grant Smith, a lawyer for Stone, wrote in a letter Friday to the House Intelligence Committee.
Stone and Caputo sent letters to the House panel to correct testimony they gave last year in which neither mentioned the contact with Greenberg, who has a lengthy criminal history in the U.S. and Russia.
They both claim that they did not remember their interactions with Greenberg at the time of their House testimony because nothing came of the Stone meeting.
Greenberg, who lives in Florida, first contacted Caputo in May 2016 through one of the Trump aide’s business partners. Caputo says he handed the inquiry off to his friend Stone, who also lives in Florida.
As The Washington Post first reported on Sunday, Stone and the 59-year-old Greenberg met in late May 2016 at a cafe in Sunny Isles, Florida. Stone says that Greenberg, who was wearing a Trump t-shirt and “Make America Great Again” hat, claimed to have “access to non-specific, damaging Clinton information which he wanted to sell.”
“Mr. Greenberg was emphatic that his asking price was $2,000,000. Mr. Stone immediately replied that he did not have $2,000,000 and even if he did, he would never pay for political information,” Stone attorney Grant Smith wrote in the letter to the House Intelligence Committee.
Stone and Caputo claim that nothing came of the meeting and that no information or money was exchanged with Greenberg.
Congress and the special counsel’s office have been looking into any contacts between Russians and the Trump campaign. Stone appears to be a major focus of the investigations, largely because of his past claims to have had indirect contact with Wikileaks, the group that released DNC and Clinton campaign emails prior to the election. Text messages from just after the Stone-Greenberg meeting seem to support Stone and Caputo’s claim that nothing came of the meeting.
“How crazy is the Russian?” Caputo wrote according to a May 29, 2016 text message reviewed by The Post.
Stone told Caputo that Greenberg wanted “big” money but that the meeting was a “waste of time.”
“The Russian way. Anything at all interesting?” Caputo asked.
“No,” Stone replied.
Caputo says that he only remembered the meeting recently, during preparation with his attorney for testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee and special counsel’s office.
He tells The Daily Caller News Foundation he decided to hire a private investigator to look into Greenberg’s past because of the recent revelations about Halper, the FBI informant who made contact with Trump aides Carter Page, Sam Clovis and George Papadopoulos.
Caputo is paying the private investigator through a legal defense fund he set up to pay his and other Trump aides’ legal bills from the multiple Russia investigations. Caputo is also promoting a 140-page dossier from the Greenberg investigation.
According to the dossier, Greenberg has a lengthy criminal history in both Russia and the U.S. under several aliases, including Henry Oknyansky. According to Caputo’s private investigator, Greenberg has been charged in California and Florida with assault with a deadly weapon, theft, assault, DUI, and domestic violence.
He has also been charged in Russia with stealing a total of $5 million in two separate scams.
Greenberg revealed his links to the FBI in an Aug. 19, 2015 court filing related to an immigration case filed by the Russian.
“I cooperated with the FBI for 17 years, often put my life in danger. Based on my information, there is so many arrests criminal from drugs and human trafficking, money laundering and insurance frauds,” wrote Greenberg, who sued the government in order to avoid deportation.
“Wherever I was, from Iran to North Korea, I always send information to [the FBI].”
Greenberg also listed 14 separate documents that showed that he was granted visas under what’s known as a Significant Public Benefit Parole (SPBP). The visas are granted to foreigners who are working as informants for the U.S. government.
The documents list an FBI special agent as Greenberg’s point of contact.
Greenberg acknowledged to The Post that he has been an informant for the U.S. government. He also told the newspaper that his offer to Stone in May 2016 regarded the Clinton Foundation. Greenberg claimed that a friend of his named Alexei worked for the Clinton Foundation and could reveal damaging information about the Clinton family charity.
The Clinton Foundation told The Post that it has never employed a person named Alexei.
Greenberg denied offering to sell information to Stone.