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Greenwood writes: "Special counsel Robert Mueller has evidence showing that a meeting in the Seychelles last year between the founder of a private security company and a Russian official was intended to set up a back channel between the Trump administration and the Kremlin."

Erik Prince, the founder of Blackwater. (photo: Bloomberg)
Erik Prince, the founder of Blackwater. (photo: Bloomberg)


Mueller Evidence Shows Blackwater Founder Held Meeting to Create Trump-Russia Back Channel: Report

By Max Greenwood, The Hill

08 March 18

 

pecial counsel Robert Mueller has evidence showing that a meeting in the Seychelles last year between the founder of a private security company and a Russian official was intended to set up a back channel between the Trump administration and the Kremlin.

The Washington Post reported Wednesday that a witness cooperating with Mueller has told investigators that the meeting was set up in advance, apparently contradicting what Erik Prince, the founder of the security contractor formerly known as Blackwater, has told lawmakers about the meeting.

Prince had previously told lawmakers and the press that his meeting with Kirill Dmitriev, a Russian official close with Russian President Vladimir Putin, happened by chance and was not set up ahead of time.

But the witness, a Lebanese-American businessman named George Nader, has testified before a grand jury that the meeting, which took place shortly before President Trump's inauguration, was, in fact, a planned effort.

Nader, who began cooperating with investigators in mid-January after he was stopped at Dulles Airport and served a subpoena, helped arrange and attended the meeting, according to the Post.

Prince told the House Intelligence Committee last year that the meeting was unimportant and brief. He also specifically denied previous reporting by the Post that the meeting had been described by U.S., European and Arab officials as an attempt to set up a back-channel line of communication between Moscow and the incoming Trump administration.

The Post also reported last year that Prince, who donated to the Trump campaign and is the brother of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, presented himself as an unofficial envoy for Trump.

At the time, the White House denied that Prince had any role in the Trump transition.

But Nader, an adviser to the United Arab Emirates’s de facto ruler, has reportedly become a key witness for Mueller’s team as they examine the possible influence of foreign money in the Trump campaign and in White House policymaking.

Mueller is tasked with investigating Russia’s role in the 2016 election and whether members of the Trump campaign conspired with Moscow to influence and disrupt the presidential race. His mandate, however, also allows him to investigate any other issues that may arise out of the Russia probe.


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Comments   

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+5 # BetaTheta 2018-03-08 09:58
There appear to be so many miscreants in all this, perhaps there should be a mass trial. Since Trump is a fan of authoritarians, we could do it as in Egypt and such places: all of them crammed into a a steel cage in the courtroom. Save taxpayers a lot of court costs.
 
 
+11 # chrisconno 2018-03-08 11:07
How much the Citizens United case has contributed to the near complete corruption of our elections and therefore our democracy. I hope the justices who sided with the idea that money is speech and corporations are people at least recognize their complicity. They should be very ashamed for being so instrumental in the destruction of our republic.
 
 
+6 # Benign Observer 2018-03-08 12:04
What a bonus if this brings down Erik, Prince of Darkness. Let's incarcerate his sister too, because genetics.
 
 
-6 # Robbee 2018-03-08 13:44
Quoting Benign Observer 2018-03-08 12:04:
What a bonus if this brings down Erik, Prince of Darkness. Let's incarcerate his sister too, because genetics.

- too bad if americans can't get away with nothin', huh? comrade?

but then, if there are no wires? how does putin control his puppet?
 
 
0 # Benign Observer 2018-03-09 16:26
IDK, a@k. How does he control you?

Who's done more than you to destroy intelligent discussion on this site, comrade?
 
 
+4 # chapdrum 2018-03-08 12:48
In the old days, people like Prince would have been exiled.
 
 
-3 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2018-03-08 14:41
More leaks from Mueller. I read this story in the Wapo and it seemed that it could only be a leak from Mueller. This story is a real scandal. It sounds very bad, but there is no proof for it. It is just a story, rumor, or leak. Why would anyone use such a high profile person like Prince for a secret back channel? And Prince hates Russia. He has no contacts in Russia. Lots of questions.
 
 
-2 # Depressionborn 2018-03-08 18:19
RE: "a back channel between the Trump administration and the Kremlin."

I thought "back channels" was normal diplomatic activity.
 
 
-4 # lnason@umassd.edu 2018-03-08 19:25
Even if the worst interpretation of this story were true, what on earth is wrong with an elected President setting up back channel communications with a foreign government? This is normal for all presidents forever. Since it happened after the election, it is not a sign of any kind of collusion -- in fact, it undermines the collusion charge since communications channels would already be in place if collusion had occurred.

At worst, this discrepancy shows that one of the two witnesses had lied or had been ignorant of the facts.

Lee Nason
New Bedford, Massachusetts
 
 
-3 # Depressionborn 2018-03-08 21:13
Quoting lnason@umassd.edu:
Even if the worst interpretation of this story were true, what on earth is wrong with an elected President setting up back channel communications with a foreign government? This is normal for all presidents forever. Since it happened after the election, it is not a sign of any kind of collusion -- in fact, it undermines the collusion charge since communications channels would already be in place if collusion had occurred.

At worst, this discrepancy shows that one of the two witnesses had lied or had been ignorant of the facts.

Lee Nason
New Bedford, Massachusetts


sorry # lnason@umassd.edu 2018-03-08 19:25 rsn greenies don't accept reality. In fact it upsets them and you will be called bad names
 

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