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US special counsel probes Seychelles meeting with Russian

09 March 2018, 02:50 | Myrtle Vega

Why an Emirates Adviser's Cooperation With Mueller May Be Terrible for Trump

Blackwater founder Erik Prince will host a fundraiser this month for Russia-friendly Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher as Prince faces new questions over a 2017 meeting currently being investigated by special counsel Robert Mueller

They have interviewed a witness who said a January 2017 meeting in the Seychelles between Prince and Russian Direct Investment Fund chief Kirill Dmitriev, brokered by the United Arab Emirates, was set up so that the incoming Trump administration and the Russian government could discuss U.S.

Nader's reported cooperation with the Mueller probe could be an indication that Mueller and his team are focusing more closely on the Seychelles meeting. But on top of the reportedly illicit nature of the meeting, Prince's role as a representative for the Trump administration is disconcerting, given his reputation as a war profiteer and anti-Muslim Crusader.

If the meeting was indeed an effort to establish a secret line of communication with the Kremlin, that would be "at odds" with what Prince told the House intelligence committee in November, Schiff said. 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 has been previously reported. The committee has been struggling with the administration over certain Trump affiliates refusing to answer questions about the transition period and the administration that are not preapproved by the White House.

Obama's National Security Adviser Susan Rice explained during a September 2017 House Intelligence Committee interview why she unmasked Prince and members of Trump's transition team.

There are so many things being investigated here, it's hard to believe that Mueller isn't going to be able to prove some serious criminal misconduct.

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The Seychelles meeting would not be the only reported effort by Trump associates to set up a secret line of communication with Russian Federation. Nader's account is considered key evidence - but not the only evidence - about what transpired in Seychelles, according to people familiar with the matter.

Representatives of Prince had no immediate comment on the Post story, and had declined to comment on previous reports about Nader and the Seychelles meeting.

Nader has long served as an adviser to the UAE leadership, and in that role he met a couple of times with Trump officials, including Steve Bannon and the president's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, according to people familiar with the matter.

Nader couldn't be reached for comment, and his lawyer declined to comment.

The Washington Post, citing US officials, said such a concession by Moscow would have been required to justify any easing of USA sanctions on Russian Federation by the Trump administration. However, according to officials familiar with the meeting, he presented himself as an unofficial envoy for Trump to high-ranking Emiratis involved in setting up his meeting with the Russian official.



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