Erik Prince

Prince to Hold Fundraiser for Russia-Friendly Lawmaker

“Blackwater founder Erik Prince will host a fundraiser this month for Russia-friendly Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), as Prince faces new questions over a 2017 meeting currently being investigated by special counsel Robert Mueller,” CNN reports.

“Prince and Rohrabacher have been friends and mutual supporters for years: Prince interned for the California congressman on Capitol Hill in 1990, and Rohrabacher vigorously defended Prince when Blackwater faced congressional scrutiny during President George W. Bush’s administration.”

Also attending: Oliver North.

Mueller Has Evidence of Secret Backchannel Effort

Special counsel Robert Mueller “has gathered evidence that a secret meeting in the Seychelles just before the inauguration of Donald Trump was an effort to establish a back-channel between the incoming administration and the Kremlin — apparently contradicting statements made to lawmakers by one of its participants,” the Washington Post reports.

“In January, 2017, Erik Prince, the founder of the private military company Blackwater, met with a Russian official close to 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.”

“A witness cooperating with Mueller has told investigators the meeting was set up in advance so that a representative of the Trump transition could meet with an emissary from Moscow to discuss future relations between the two countries.”

Blackwater Founder Mulls Senate Run In Wyoming

“Erik Prince, the founder of the security contractor Blackwater, is seriously considering a Republican primary challenge for a Senate seat in Wyoming, potentially adding a high-profile contender to a fledgling drive to oust establishment lawmakers with insurgents in the mold of President Trump,” the New York Times reports.

“Mr. Prince appears increasingly likely to challenge John Barrasso, a senior member of the Senate Republican leadership, according to people who have spoken to him in recent days. He has been urged to run next year by Stephen K. Bannon, who is leading the effort to shake up the Republican leadership with financial backing from the New York hedge fund billionaire Robert Mercer and his daughter Rebekah.”

Big Trump Donor Sought Back Channel to Russia

“The United Arab Emirates arranged a secret meeting in January between Blackwater founder Erik Prince and a Russian close to President Vladi­mir Putin as part of an apparent effort to establish a back-channel line of communication between Moscow and President-elect Donald Trump,” the Washington Post reports.

“The meeting took place around Jan. 11 — nine days before Trump’s inauguration — in the Seychelles islands in the Indian Ocean… Though the full agenda remains unclear, the UAE agreed to broker the meeting in part to explore whether Russia could be persuaded to curtail its relationship with Iran, including in Syria, a Trump administration objective that would likely require major concessions to Moscow on U.S. sanctions.”

“Prince was an avid supporter of Trump who gave $250,000 last year to support the GOP nominee’s campaign, records show. He has ties to people in Trump’s circle, including Stephen K. Bannon, now serving as the president’s chief strategist and senior counselor. Prince’s sister Betsy DeVos serves as education secretary in the Trump administration.”