Caputo Bets on Supposed Threats
Trump Superfan Michael Caputo claims to be the victim of 59 ‘death threats’ and that he has reported ‘dozens’, yet records reveal he has made only 5 complaints to law enforcement, and in the last three years only one person has been charged
No person in public life should ever have to deal with threats of violence against them or their family. People who engage in such vile tactics should always be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.
No person in public life should manufacture ‘threats’ he has supposedly received in order to wield an unsupported political weapon and impress his friends in the mainstream media.
According to official documents obtained by WNYmedia Network, WNY political operative and professional storyteller Michael Caputo is dramatically overstating the number and nature of the threats he has received, largely via social media.
WNYmedia Network served FOIL requests on more than eight local, state, and federal agencies in an attempt to track down and confirm just how many credible “death threats” Mr. Caputo reported to authorities. That number does not equal 59, or anything close to it.
2017 – THE HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE
In July 2017, Caputo told Fox News’ Tucker Carlson how these “death threats” began, claiming they started in March 2017 when “Antifa” threatened to ‘burn down his house with his wife and kids inside‘ after Congresswoman Jackie Spiers mentioned him during a Public hearing:
Undoubtedly, such a serious threat to one’s family would result in a call to the police or other appropriate authorities.
Yet, WNYMedia Network found that the first official complaint filed by Caputo wasn’t until August 2017, almost six months after his initial claims of a threat from “ANTIFA”.
Caputo brought that complaint to the Erie County Sheriff’s Department in August not based on a well-founded fear for his family’s well-being but rather on the advice of his attorney.
Caputo filed that report with the Erie County Sheriff’s Department:
Throughout 2017 until April of 2018, Mr. Caputo went on a what could charitably be described as a weekly cable news parade, relentlessly touting his claims that he and his family are the victims of ‘threats’.
In April 2018, he complained to anyone who would listen that the Mueller investigation into Russian electoral interference was making his family ‘poor’ and at one point even claimed he was leaving Western New York altogether:
“We were starting to buy boxes, start sorting through our stuff. We really thought we were on our way out of town but maybe we won’t have to,” says Caputo.
He used this claim to fundraise, creating a legal trust fund and ‘GoFundMe’ page where he and his ‘colleagues’ in Erie County and other Republican circles bilked hundreds of ‘supporters’ out of more than $300,000. There has been no public accounting for how much was raised, or how that money has been spent.
THE ONE SERIOUS THREAT THAT WAS NEVER FOLLOWED UP
On April 28th, just days before his testimony in front of the Senate Intel Committee, Caputo made another claim to the National Review about ‘constant threats of violence’ and declaring that had reported “dozens of threats’ to the police:
“We endure constant threats of violence,” Caputo says, “which create security costs.” Since his name arose in Russiagate, Caputo and his family have been terrorized by people who want them dead.
“Last month, my wife received a part of a sniper rifle in the mail,” Caputo says. “We reported this and dozens of other threats to the police.”
Days later on May 4th, Caputo appeared on Sean Hannity, telling a similar story:
Through a FOIL request, we found that Caputo did file a complaint with the East Aurora Police Department on March 1st, 2018 about a ‘suspicious incident’ involving an Amazon shipment of a “vortex bubble level” – a device used on scopes to make sure a gun is level:
A year later, on March 25, 2019, the investigation into this complaint was officially closed after Caputo failed to follow up with East Aurora Police or Amazon about who might have purchased the level.
Of all the threats Caputo has discussed publicly, this one seems to be the most credible, direct, and ominous. So, why would he refuse to follow-up with investigators from the police or Amazon? Certainly, Amazon would have a record of who bought the level, using what credit card or PayPal account, the IP of the computer used, and large volumes of other data that law enforcement could have used to apprehend the perpetrator.
None of that happened. Why?
BUILDING A NARRATIVE
Caputo formally filed another complaint of a ‘perceived threat’ to local law enforcement agencies on May 21st, 2018. Caputo complained of a direct message sent via Facebook, resulting in Caputo filing for a restraining order and filing a charge of harassment against a local 19-year-old:
The suspect’s name was sealed. The police report states that the suspect decided to appear in front of a Judge without an attorney present for questioning in connection with a probable cause hearing. So far, this 19-year-old is the only person whom Caputo successfully had charged.
The reason the 19-year-old wrote nasty messages via DM to Caputo? Caputo “had messaged his father over political things and had made a comment about his mother that angered him.”
2019 – PAYDAY, JUST IN TIME FOR THE MUELLER REPORT
With the imminent release of the Mueller report, Caputo needed to spin a narrative to establish that the left was becoming unhinged. What better way to do so than to use some innocuous social media threats as a political weapon against his critics.
On March 26th and again on March 30th, Caputo filed two more complaints to the East Aurora Police department.
Here is the alleged ‘threat’ Mr. Caputo decided to have prosecuted through Aurora Town Court:
We're all having fun watching the #Resistance sift thru the rubble of their Russia hoax, but remember: the Mueller Report conclusion there's "no evidence of collusion" may detonate many mentally ill resisters. Their violent threats will increase; they may attack. Watch your back. pic.twitter.com/3LLBd6YKen
— That Michael Caputo (@MichaelRCaputo) March 26, 2019
It’s not very well-written, but by no means does anything here rise to the level of a threat. Caputo was on WBEN Wednesday morning filling-in for Sandy Beach (aka “impeach and company’) and for three hours continued to harass the alleged suspect, dog whistling his supporters to show up in Aurora Town Court where he was to be arraigned on a misdemeanor harassment charge:
Caputo isn’t looking for justice – if he did, he would just let the police do their job, and let the courts do theirs. Instead, he’s rounding up a posse to threaten and intimidate every person he identifies to his “MAGA-QRS” followers as a person who has supposedly threatened him.
This person did not threaten Caputo. In social media land, there is always the “block” feature. Wasting police and court resources to make an example out of and threaten some dopey Facebook person is simply insane.
In addition to the multiple social posts, Caputo urged the audience to show up in Aurora Town court Wednesday night and help him ‘fight’ as he put it.
As for the March 30th incident, Caputo again blew the dog whistle via his social media accounts.
According to the complaint and also visible on the suspects Facebook profile, Caputo supporters attacked the man with harassing phone calls and antagonistic facebook comments:
According to the official police report, Caputo denied he had anything to do with the suspect’s counterclaims although Caputo’s facebook post shows otherwise:
This case is still pending further investigation.
CAPUTO CONTINUES TO BLOW THAT DOG WHISTLE
This isn’t the first time Caputo has taken to the media to push this convenient narrative. Since the Mueller Report was officially handed to the DOJ, Caputo has been on a month-long media tour claiming various amounts of ‘death threats’ and continuing to blame the left for the recent rise in threats and violence.
Here’s Caputo on Fox News falsely claiming the ’58’ number:
Again, of the five complaints filed over three years, none technically rise to the level of a credible death threat and as we stated earlier, the most serious claim (bubble level sent in the mail) is the one serious threat Caputo failed to follow up on.
Someone saying they’ll beat you up does not constitute a ‘death threat’. Harassment charges can be filed which Caputo has attempted to do with people he can positively identify through social media.
NONE OF THIS RISES TO THE LEVEL OF A CREDIBLE THREAT AGAINST HIS SAFETY. SAYING YOU’LL BEAT SOMEONE UP IF YOU WERE EVER TO SEE THEM DOES NOT CONSTITUTE A DEATH THREAT
A few weeks ago, instead of showing support for colleagues dealing with far more serious threats, Caputo took a calculated opportunity to dismiss the seriousness of the threats against a local politician in Erie County. He took to Twitter to publicly call them ‘Bullshit”:
A letter asking you for help? A lost knife on Delaware Avenue? Really? pic.twitter.com/iiiWOv2cPf
— That Michael Caputo (@MichaelRCaputo) April 5, 2019
CAPUTO CONTINUES TO BLOW THAT DOG WHISTLE
While politicians and government officials across the country are dealing with what seems like ongoing threats of violence on both sides, the last thing someone like Caputo should be doing is continuing to fuel the rhetoric by going on radio and television claiming threats that are at worst benign, or in large part do not exist.
Instead, the media keeps calling and Caputo continues to do national and local TV interviews, while reporters across the country blindly print and broadcast his unsubstantiated claims, almost verbatim.
Caputo has continued his never-ending media blitz by re-starting his GoFundMe, bilking more than $11,000 out of more supporters and went so far as to promote a book that has yet to be written, all while egregiously mocking others who are on the receiving end of far more serious threats.
Again, no one should have to deal with any threats of violence against them or they’re family and people perpetuating this nonsense should be held accountable to the fullest extent possible. But at the same time, Mr. Caputo shouldn’t be allowed to go unvetted to local and national media while he continues to incite others to commit similar threats.
All this fabrication for a few final minutes in the national spotlight before he’s merely a footnote in history, crawling back into obscurity.