When political consultant Roger Stone speaks Friday evening in Buffalo, perhaps his closest ally in Western New York won’t be present.

Stone is set to discuss the 2020 presidential election. The event will also serve as a fundraiser to help pay legal bills for his November trial connected to the Russia special investigation.

That trial also is the reason Stone cannot have any contact with his friend and colleague Michael Caputo.

“I attended Roger’s arraignment in late January, ready to play the role of family spokesman, as we had agreed months before his arrest,” Caputo said in a statement. “There I was told Roger was not to speak with me again. Later, this was communicated to his attorneys in a sealed court order.”

Both men worked with the Trump 2016 presidential campaign in some capacity. Caputo described Stone as a “big brother” and noted for 32 years they spoke nearly every day and their families spent holidays together.

“I’m not a defendant nor a witness in his trial,” he said. “I have no role at all. This ban on contact is a rank infringement on Roger’s Constitutional rights – but that doesn’t matter in America today. In a country where a sitting president can weaponize his national security agencies to spy on a political rival, where the frightening powers of the federal government can be brought down like a sledgehammer on innocent men like General Flynn and Roger Stone for purely political reasons, we have no rights, none of us, and least of all Roger Stone.”

As a result of the court order, Caputo said he is not allowed at the Stone event, hosted by former gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino. He said he’s asked all his friends to attend the event, donate to the defense fund, and say hello for him.

“I miss Roger’s oddball sense of humor, his friendship, his generosity, his brilliance. I miss his Sunday gravy. I miss the herd of rescue dogs who ruled his house. I miss his beautiful and kind wife Nydia, my big sister,” Caputo said. “Most of all, I will miss the United States of America, because the Stone prosecution is more proof that our country has found her end”

He said he’s raised $12Stone-Caputo5,000 for Stone’s defense and will continue to raise more. Stone is not permitted to talk about the ongoing litigation during his visit to Buffalo.