It’s happened yet again. Erik Prince, the shady character who runs private armies around the world and just happened to have played a key role in Donald Trump’s Russia scandal, was quickly thrust in the headlines last week before just as quickly vanishing. It’s led some among the Resistance, who view Prince as one of the “big villains” in the Trump-Russia plot, to ask if this means that he’s suddenly off the hook.
This time around we learned that Prince was trying to negotiate a backchannel between Trump and Russia during his Seychelles meeting. We also learned that George Nader, who helped set up the meeting in question, is now a cooperating witness for Special Counsel Robert Mueller. But now no one is talking about him, as if the media has forgotten he existed. That’s because no additional information has surfaced regarding his role in the scandal. But that may be by design.
Keep in mind that Mueller runs a tight ship and nothing ever leaks by accident. Instead, when we do see details of the Mueller probe surfacing in the media, it nearly always just happens to be well timed to help Mueller’s agenda. Either Mueller is the luckiest guy in the world and he just happens to catch all the breaks, or he has his team strategically feeding these bits of information to the media. In other words, we learned about the story of Prince and Nader last week because Mueller wanted it out there, probably to try to pressure Prince or someone else involved with the meeting to come in and cooperate.
So if you’re concerned that Erik Prince’s disappearance from the headlines this week means that he’s somehow off the hook, don’t worry, that’s not how these things work. Robert Mueller has a cooperating witness against Prince. So if Prince broke the law with that meeting, he’ll go down for it. We’re just not going to hear about it in the media until Mueller wants more information out there.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report