Robert Mueller, the special counsel that was appointed to oversee the investigation into Russia’s tampering with the 2016 presidential election, has acquired would be damning evidence that someone close to President Donald Trump had a meeting with a Russian official days before Trump was inaugurated as president. The meaning is believed to have been scheduled to establish communication channels between the Russian government and the Trump administration.
The Trump associate in question is Erik Prince who is the founder of Blackwater USA, a military contracting company that has experienced its own storm of controversy. Prince met with a Russian official close to Vladimir Putin on the island of Seychelles last January.
A cooperating witness in Mueller’s investigation relayed information to investigators that the 48-year-old Prince made the meeting to discuss relations between Trump’s Washington and the Kremlin.
Prince was not an official part of the Trump team but was in constant contact with members of the new administration and investigators have concluded that he was an unofficial representative of the Trump administration. Prince is also the younger brother of Betsy DeVos, Trump’s choice for Secretary of Education.
The new information could result in serious legal trouble for Prince who in the past told investigators that his trip to Seychelles was for business purposes and that he did not attend as a representative of the president or his administration. Prince also testified that his meeting with Kirill Dmitriev had been a random encounter and that know advanced planning had been done.
George Nader, who was present at the meeting in Seychelles, has spoken to a grand jury on the matter of members of the Trump transition team meeting representatives of the Kremlin.
Nader was met on arrival by FBI agents in mid-January after landing at a Dallas airport. He was served with a subpoena and has been cooperative with agents while taking part in several conversations.
President Trump has maintained his claims of having no Russian affiliations and says the ‘hoax’ story is a plot concocted by Democrats that are still upset with him for winning the presidency.
Another Wednesday revelation was that Trump has approached two cooperating witnesses in the investigation and questioned them about their statements. This action by Trump was in direct opposition to the advice given to him by his lawyers.