WaPo: Erik Prince, Seychelles Meeting Possible Kremlin Back Channel

Would-be President-for Life Trump facing more Mueller peril

Robert Mueller's special counsel investigation has reportedly uncovered evidence that a secret meeting in Seychelles shortly before President Trump's inauguration was meant to create a back channel between the incoming administration and the Kremlin.

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.

The information came from a witness who told Mueller's team that the meeting was meant to establish future relations between Washington and Moscow.

So this gives us more specific information on what George Nader has told Mueller's investigators after it was reported a couple weeks ago that he was cooperating with them.

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Prince has sharply disputed that account, saying he did not present himself as a representative of the incoming administration.

And he's told lawmakers on the House Intelligence Committee that he didn't plan to meet Dmitriev in the Seychelles - and that he went there as a private businessman and not as an emissary of the Trump transition team, the Post reported.

The revelation could land Prince in trouble, as he has previously testified before Congress that he attended the Seychelles meeting as a businessman, not as a representative of the Trump administration.

Prince has known Nader for years and once hired him to try to generate business from the Iraqi government in the years after the USA invasion of that country.

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Democrats on the House intelligence committee are sounding alarms about testimony regarding who attended a January 2017 meeting in the Seychelles that's come under intense scrutiny in the Trump-Russia probes.

"I also think that Bob Mueller on his own can expand his own authority and investigate this", Napolitano said.

Mueller has also asked numerous witnesses about how the president's son-in-law and adviser, Jared Kushner, set up calls with foreign leaders and whether he bypassed normal protocols that kept records of the contacts and the content of the discussions.

Nader has long served as an adviser to the UAE leadership, and in that role he met a couple of times with Trump officials, including Stephen K. Bannon and the president's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, according to people familiar with the matter.

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Based on information it has gathered, Mueller's office claimed that the meeting between Prince and Dmitriev had in fact been premeditated, and was meant to coordinate an eventual meeting between a representative of Trump's transition team and a Russian Federation emissary. Former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty to lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation previous year and is cooperating with the Mueller probe, was reportedly also at the meeting.

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