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WaPo: Erik Prince, Seychelles Meeting Possible Kremlin Back Channel

WaPo: Erik Prince, Seychelles Meeting Possible Kremlin Back Channel

Mueller has gathered evidence that the meeting, which Prince previously described as incidental, was an effort to establish a back channel between the Kremlin and the incoming administration, the Washington Post reported.

Prince testified previous year before the House Intelligence Committee about his meeting and Thursday, Democrats pounced on reports that Lebanese-American businessman George Nader told the special counsel he was at the meeting.

Schiff said Lewandowski wouldn't answer questions about Trump's firing of former Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey, any discussions he had with the president about firing special counsel Robert Mueller, and the writing of a misleading statement about why Donald Trump Jr. attended a June 2016 meeting with a Russian attorney at Trump Tower.

The Post reports, however, that George Nader, a Lebanese-American businessman, is cooperating with Mueller and said the meeting was "set up in advance so that a representative of the Trump transition could meet with an emissary from Moscow to discuss future relations between the countries". Nader attended the Seychelles gathering on behalf of the United Arab Emirates, where he serves as an adviser to the royal family.

According to the Post, investigators now suspect the Seychelles meeting may have been one of the first efforts to establish such a line of communications between the two governments. Another former Trump campaign aide, George Papadopoulos, also pleaded guilty to lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about Russian Federation.

According to The Times, the meeting was convened by UAE Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, who Nader advises. "Which is accurate? I don't know, and we should find out".




"We chatted on topics ranging from oil and commodity prices to how much his country wished for resumption of normal trade relations with the U.S.A.", Prince told lawmakers. He's also the younger brother of Trump's Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. Rep. Adam B. Schiff wants to determine whether Prince lied to the panel about a meeting past year in the Seychelles that evidence suggests was an effort to establish a backchannel between the incoming Trump administration and the Kremlin, they said. In December 2016, White House senior adviser and Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner met with then-Russian ambassador Sergei Kislyak to talk about setting up an unofficial communication channel, The Times reported a year ago.

The panel interviewed former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski on Thursday behind closed doors. He also wants Prince to return to answer more questions about the encounter on the Indian Ocean archipelago. On Wednesday, Conaway told reporters that "I don't have a clue who George Nader is".

Schiff said he would like to call Prince and other witness back before the committee for another round of questioning.

Several Republican committee members have said publicly that they hope to close the probe soon.

"That allegation if true would be very disturbing, considering that using Russian diplomatic facilities for a back channel would only be created to hide those communications - not from the Russian government but from our own government", Schiff said.

Schiff also says there are "large categories of documents" that need to be subpoenaed, including Roger Stone's communications, as well as Donald Trump Jr.'s communications with WikiLeaks.

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