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

10 March, 2018, 01:35 | Author: Diane Mills
  • Special counsel Robert Mueller departs after a closed-door meeting with members of the Senate Judiciary Committee about Russian meddling in the election and possible connection to the Trump campaign at the Capitol in Washington

Rep. Adam B. Schiff wants to determine whether Prince lied to the panel about a meeting previous year in the Seychelles that evidence suggests was an effort to establish a backchannel between the incoming Trump administration and the Kremlin, they said.

The revelation could land Prince in trouble, as he has previously testified before Congress that he attended the Seychelles meeting as a businessman, not as a representative of the Trump administration.

Prince, on the other hand, would have to return to the committee for a second interview.

But Republicans on the committee do not appear to share Schiff's urgency. Representatives for Nader, Dmitriev and the Emirati ambassador haven't commented.

Lewandowski's attorneys objected that those lines of questioning weren't relevant, in their view.

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

The Washington Post reported Wednesday that Mueller has evidence showing that the meeting in the Seychelles between Prince and the Russian officials was set up to create a back channel between the Trump administration and the Kremlin. Nader's account is considered key evidence - but not the only evidence - about what transpired in the Seychelles, according to people familiar with the matter.

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Prince told the House intelligence committee that he had met Dmitriev in the Seychelles by chance, and that he was not representing the Trump administration.

Schiff said Nader's information "is obviously at odds with that".

GOP members of the committee have been pressing to bring the panel's Russian Federation investigation to a close and issue a report that Democratic members are not likely to endorse.

The 1985 charges were brought against Nader, the Atlantic's Natasha Bertrand wrote, when U.S. Customers Inspectors opened a package sent to his company, International Insight, that contained the illicit photographs, film and advertisements that contained similar content. Customs opened the package because they suspected it was imported illegally, and used its contents to obtain a search warrant for Nader's home because, according to the government, he "a suspected pedophile [who] was likely to seek to contact children".

Revelations of Nader's arrest comes in the wake of the scandal surrounding former White House staff secretary Rob Porter, who was accused of domestic violence by two women he used to be married to and whose accusations were known to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and likely known by the Trump administration as well. 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. Her family played a large role in former White House advisor Steve Bannon becoming head of the Trump campaign in August 2016.

Lewandowski testified before the committee for about three hours Thursday behind closed doors. He acknowledges the panel would need Mueller's permission to talk to Nader since he is a cooperating witness in the DOJ investigation. But Schiff made a public plea for why that standard should change.

The special counsel is looking into the possibility Nader funneled money into the Trump campaign to buy political influence on behalf of the UAE, according to the Times.

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