In recent months, there has been no shortage of evidence and data that has emerged surrounding the Trump-Russia investigation, as various discoveries have helped Robert Mueller’s investigation into whether or not the Trump campaign team inherently colluded with Kremlin officials during the 2016 general elections. As top members of Trump’s previous team have continuously been indicted by the special counsel, including the likes of Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, George Papadopolous, and others, all of which have been connected in some form to interactions with foreign agents on the campaign trail. On Wednesday, the Mueller team announced yet another bombshell discovery, this time regarding the false testimony of Erik Prince, a close member of the Trump circle.
According to a Washington Post report:
‘Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III has gathered evidence that a secret meeting in Seychelles just before the inauguration of Donald Trump was an effort to establish a back channel between the incoming administration and the Kremlin…
In January 2017, Erik Prince, the founder of the private security company Blackwater, met with a Russian official close to Russian President Vladimir Putin and later described the meeting to congressional investigators as a chance encounter that was not a planned discussion of U.S.-Russia relations.’
Prince, who had no formal role in the Trump campaign or administration, nevertheless had close ties with various actions and initiatives of the transition team, despite never holding a specific title. When testifying in front of Congress, Prince had initially claimed that his meeting with Kirill Dmitriev in the African country of Seychelles occurred by chance, when both of the individuals were staying at a luxury hotel in the country. The meeting between Prince and Dmitriev, who is the head of the Russian wealth fund, has since been identified as a planned interaction as a means of establishing a more secretive communication channel with the Kremlin government.
Mueller has gathered evidence that a secret meeting in the Seychelles just before the inauguration was an effort to establish a back-channel between the incoming administration and the Kremlin, WaPo reports. https://t.co/k9S79Om2XR
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) March 8, 2018
An anonymous witness that has been cooperating with the Mueller team told investigators that the meeting was no coincidence, and that the two intentionally met in order to better gauge the relations the two countries would have with the incoming administration.
Anytime I want a casual beer with a Russian oligarch, I just slip down to the Seychelles Islands. Don't you?
— Rick Wilson (@TheRickWilson) March 8, 2018
As Mueller begins probing into the inherent context behind the Seychelles meeting, he is examining it as one of the initial points in which communication between Trump administration officials and the Kremlin government may have first began. George Nader, a Lebanese American businessman who helped broker the meeting, recently began cooperating with the Mueller investigation, shedding light on what may have gone on during the Seychelles meeting.
Erik Prince getting pinched for lying to Mueller would be some serious Al-Capone-for-tax-evasion type stuff. https://t.co/tImb70tWjc
— Chris Hayes (@chrislhayes) March 8, 2018
JUST IN: George Nader, an obscure foreign policy specialist, attended secret meetings during the transition between Trump associates and the Emiratis….. he was in the Seychelles during the Erik Prince meeting…. Nader is now cooperating with Mueller. https://t.co/NLGHtoqT8R
— Marshall Cohen (@MarshallCohen) March 7, 2018
Mueller is now looking into the extent to which Nader, Prince, and the ongoings in Seychelles may be of interest to the special counsel’s investigation, analyzing whether or not any foreign money or other forms of assistance may have been provided to help fuel the Trump campaign. The special counsel’s team is also looking into the specific interactions and communications between Kremlin officials and members of the Trump transition team during the early days of the administration, to better understand exactly what was said in the early talks between the new Trump presidency and Russian government.
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