An ex-adviser to President Trump has signaled he and as many as four others will not cooperate with the House Judiciary Committee's sweeping demand for documents.
Michael Caputo, a former aide with the campaign who will be interviewed on Fox News’ “The Story with Martha MacCallum” on Wednesday afternoon, has already told the committee he does not have any relevant records and that he “does not plan to testify in front of the panel,” according to the Washington Post.
Caputo has also started off talks with four other people linked to the president who received a request from the committee to form a “joint strategy of resisting requests,” the Post reports.
“All four are reluctant to appear because they believe it’s a perjury trap designed to move toward impeachment of the president,” he told the newspaper.
The request from the Judiciary Committee was for Caputo to give them any documents related to Russian government contact with Trump associates.
The committee on Monday sent the letter as part of a massive document request to 81 people and organizations, going after information from dozens of figures from the president's administration, family and business.
Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., described the effort as part of a new probe into "alleged obstruction of justice, public corruption, and other abuses of power by President Trump."
In addition to the White House, Nadler is also seeking information from Trump family members, like Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump and Jared Kushner; from former administration figures like former chief of staff Reince Priebus, former national security adviser Mike Flynn, former Attorney General Jeff Sessions and former spokeswoman Hope Hicks; and from Trump campaign figures like Brad Parscale and Corey Lewandowski.
"Over the last several years, President Trump has evaded accountability for his near-daily attacks on our basic legal, ethical, and constitutional rules and norms,” Nadler said in a statement. “Investigating these threats to the rule of law is an obligation of Congress and a core function of the House Judiciary Committee."
Caputo was interviewed in May 2018 by the Senate Intelligence Committee as part of the panel's investigation into Russian activities during the 2016 elections. Caputo's lawyer, Dennis Vacco, told Fox News at the time the interview lasted three hours and included opening and closing statements by his client.
In Caputo’s closing statement, he said the panel's investigation “forced” his family out of their home and “crushed” his children due to mounting legal costs associated with the inquiry and told the committee: “God damn you to hell.”
"Today, I can’t possibly pay the attendant legal costs and live near my aging father, raising my kids where I grew up,” Caputo said. “Your investigation and others into the allegations of Trump campaign collusion with Russia are costing my family a great deal of money — more than $125,000 — and making a visceral impact on my children."
Caputo accused members of the Senate Intelligence Committee of working together and contributing to the “swamp" — a term often used by Trump to describe the bureaucracy in Washington, D.C.