Mueller has heard testimony apparently conflicting with Erik Prince's House Intel answers

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WaPo: Erik Prince, Seychelles Meeting Possible Kremlin Back Channel
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10 March, 2018

The House intelligence committee should speak with two individuals who attended a secret meeting in the Seychelles with a Russian official in January 2017, the panel's top Democrat said Thursday amid new reports about what transpired during the secret tête-à-tête.

Prince, whose sister Betsy DeVos is Trump's education secretary, said a year ago he and Kirill Dmitriev, chief executive of the Russian Direct Investment Fund, or RDIF, met for about half an hour in a bar in the Indian Ocean country at the suggestion of officials from the United Arab Emirates.

A Lebanese-American businessman who witnessed a meeting between a Trump adviser and a Russian investor is cooperating with special counsel Robert Mueller for his investigation into the Trump campaign, according to a New York Times report.

The Atlantic reported Thursday evening that Nader, a Lebanese-American businessman now cooperating with special counsel Robert Mueller, was arrested on the obscenity charges in 1985 but eventually had his charges dropped after the key evidence - photographs and film of nude boys "engaged in a variety of sexual acts" - was thrown out. And you should meet him, he'd be an interesting guy for you to know, since you're doing a lot in the oil and gas and mineral space, ' " Prince told lawmakers. The meeting was a chance encounter not a planned discussion, Prince later described to congressional investigators.

Prince has known Nader for years and once hired him to try to generate business from the Iraqi government in the years after the USA invasion of that country.

Nader has been cooperating with special counsel Robert S. Mueller III's investigators.

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While Mueller is probing the circumstances of the Seychelles meeting, he is also more broadly examining apparent efforts by the Trump transition team to create a back channel for secret talks between the new administration and the Kremlin. 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.

Schiff's push for new witnesses comes amid hints the committee could be winding down its investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. -Russian relations, according to people familiar with the matter.

Based on information it has gathered, Mueller's office claimed that the meeting between Prince and Dmitriev had in fact been premeditated, and was meant to coordinate an eventual meeting between a representative of Trump's transition team and a Russian Federation emissary.

Schiff also said that he wants Prince to return before the committee and hand over documents that he had promised to share with lawmakers.

Senior adviser Jared Kushner sits behind President Donald Trump during a cabinet meeting at the White House. Representatives for Nader, Dmitriev and the Emirati ambassador haven't commented.

Prince had no formal role with the Trump campaign or transition. (Trump named Prince's sister, Betsy DeVos, to be Secretary of Education.) Representing Vladimir Putin was Kirill Dmitriev, manager of a Russian fund that was sanctioned by the U.S.in 2015. Devlin Barrett writes about national security and law enforcement for The Washington Post.


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