Erik Prince’s role in the Trump-Russia scandal grows even darker as Robert Mueller moves in

Erik Prince, the shadowy owner-operator of the security company formerly known as Blackwater, infamous during the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, is back in the news. And no, it’s not in connection to his sister Betsy DeVos, our superbly unqualified Secretary of Education who is currently dismantling the Department of Education, but rather for his own latest shadowy deeds in connection to Donald Trump and Russia.

Prince was called to testify before the house intelligence committee in December of 2017. By all accounts he did, arriving fully prepared for a show of arrogance, contempt and untruths. The congressional committee was keen to learn of Prince’s role as an intermediary, a broker of sorts between the Trump campaign and the Russians. The most interest was placed on the January 2017 meeting in the Seychelles, as it came to light who the players were: The chief executive of a state run Russian investment bank, a close financial adviser to Putin, and a Lebanese American and an envoy from the United Arab Emirates named George Nader.

Prince repeatedly assured everyone the meeting was no big deal, basically a chance encounter, or small talk over drinks. He was, however, perturbed at how knowledge of his meetings came to light, and of course, he blamed the most popular villain in Trump’s world, President Obama. During his statement Prince chose not to disclose Mr. Nader’s presence at the meeting and his further involvement in the operation as the”money man.” George Nader introduced Erik Prince to Dmitriev, a prominent Russian banker for the Kremlin and Putin. Nader, now a cooperating witness for Robert Mueller and the FBI, has in fact disputed Prince’s account.

Mueller’s investigation appears to be focusing on how foreign money played a role in Trump’s campaign. In this instance, was money funneled from the United Arab Emirates to the campaign? Did Erik Prince help make it happen? Prince’s conflicting and apparently untruthful testimony, under oath, puts additional pressure on Donald Trump who is already tied up in endless scandals. Prince, speaking to Fox News, has categorically denied all allegations of perjury or any knowledge about a backchannel set up with the Russians. Just coincidentally, later this month, Prince is scheduled to host a fundraiser for Russia-friendly Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher. Go figure.

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