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Former Trump Aide May Have Lied Under Oath About Seychelles Meeting
09 March 2018, 02:52 | Damon Campbell
'Man of mystery' cooperates with Mueller in Russia probe
The Washington Post first reported that Mueller has gathered evidence that the secret meeting in Seychelles was an attempt to establish a back channel between Russian Federation and the incoming Trump administration.
Erik Prince, founder of the private security firm Blackwater, met with a Russian official close to Russian President Vladimir Putin in January 2017 to set up a channel so the Trump administration could discuss future relations between the two countries.
Prince, in past statements to Congress, has described the meeting as a "chance encounter" that did not involved US-Russia relations.
The information came from a witness who told Mueller's team that the meeting was meant to establish future relations between Washington and Moscow.
Schiff, Calif., said he wants the panel to also speak with George Nader, a Lebanese American businessman who helped organize the meeting in the Seychelles, as his reported version of events "is obviously at odds with" what Prince told the panel in November.
He's previously denied reports that the Seychelles meeting was to establish a back-channel between Washington and Moscow, the Post reported.
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Prince said he was introduced to Dmitriev by U.A.E. officials and spoke with the Russian for no more than 30 minutes.
Prince denied that he met with Dmitriev on behalf of Trump and referred reporters to his public comments on the meeting past year. Mueller is investigating Russia's role and whether the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow. He says he was there for business reasons and was not representing the Trump team. In fact, Prince-founder of the security firm Blackwater and brother of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos-testified to a House panel about it a year ago.
Fox News judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano on Thursday defended the credibility of special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation investigation, noting it's the former FBI director's job to "go down any rabbit hole he finds".
Prince, whose sister Betsy DeVos is Trump's education secretary, said past year he and Kirill Dmitriev, chief executive of the Russian Direct Investment Fund, or RDIF, met for about half an hour in a bar in the Indian Ocean country at the suggestion of officials from the United Arab Emirates.
The Washington Post said that while Mueller is probing the circumstances of the Seychelles meeting, he is also more broadly examining apparent efforts by the Trump transition team to create a back channel for secret talks with the Kremlin.
Prince also told congressional investigators he did not remember when or where he had a conversation with Steve Bannon, then a senior Trump adviser, during which Bannon told Prince he had met MBZ in NY in December, just weeks before Prince traveled to the Seychelles.
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