Michael Caputo's Closing Statement I'm a Bills fan, not a Gucci-loafered lobbyist By Michael R Caputo

I want to thank the Committee for agreeing to my request to meet so I could set the record straight. I hope the time we spent together helps you understand my role in this investigation. Specifically, I feel I have no role.

For the record, after your March 20 hearing I sought to appear in a subsequent public hearing of this committee to answer Rep. Jackie Speier’s inaccurate statements with complete transparency. You decided instead to interview me in a closed session. Today I have respectfully honored your request. In an attempt to still achieve transparency, I plan to release my opening and closing statements to the public.

I concede that I have led an interesting life as an international public relations consultant. I lived in Russia more than two decades ago. Today, my Russia experience is a part of my business. But today I have no Russian clients, I have no Russian revenues, and I have not since 2004.

It’s really quite simple: I’m just a small business owner from Buffalo with a family who’s just trying to earn a living and raise his kids safely and like everybody else. In fact, it was my love of the Buffalo Bills that drew me closer to President Trump as he endeavored to buy our team and keep other new owners from moving them to Canada.

I’m a Bills fan. I’m not a Gucci-loafered lobbyist. I’m not selling a book. I’m not a celebrity seeking publicity. I won’t be profiting in any manner from my appearance here today, or future appearances.

In fact, your investigation and others into the allegations of Trump campaign collusion with Russia are costing my family a great deal of money. I’m paying for this in the only way an average guy can: I have liquidated my children’s college fund.

I’ve been clear. I know your work is important, and I am proud to have helped in any way I can. But I am convinced this Russian Collusion narrative is designed primarily to disrupt the presidency of Donald J. Trump. There is no ripple in still water when there was no pebble tossed. This is just politicians throwing stones.

It was the late great Buffalo Bills quarterback Jack Kemp who brought me into politics. Yesterday was his birthday, and his son Jimmy wrote a wonderful tribute. I want to leave you with his words, which remind me how much we need Jack Kemp today.

“The reason my dad was so passionate about fighting poverty and championing the rights of all Americans regardless of race or status is that he saw our nation as one team. A team for liberty and inalienable rights given by God. A team to test the proposition that we can govern ourselves and live in peace, with prosperity. Just as the Good Shepherd left the ninety-nine to save the stray lamb, the key is teamwork, moving forward together while leaving nobody behind.”

When you reach the end of your work, I hope you’ll move swiftly to assure America there was no collusion, help dial back the rhetoric that has led to threats and violence – and to allow our free and fairly elected President of the United States to meet the objectives he was elected to achieve.


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