Top House Intelligence Committee Dem Wants To Talk To Seychelles Meeting Attendees
Mar 09 2018
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.
Prince denied WaPo's reporting in 2017 that showed US and European officials describing the Seychelles meeting as part of an effort to establish a back-channel line of communication between Moscow and the incoming administration.
Prince, whose sister Betsy DeVos is Trump's education secretary, said past year 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. He's met numerous times with investigators, the Postreported. During the congressional interview, which became testy at times as Democratic lawmakers pressed him to be more specific in his answers, Prince repeatedly complained that he had reason to believe USA intelligence agencies were leaking information about his activities. Trump says there was no collusion between Moscow and his campaign and calls the investigation a witch hunt.
The Post reported Nader has testified before a grand jury gathering evidence about discussions between the Trump transition team and emissaries of the Kremlin as part of Mueller's investigation.
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 to the House intelligence committee in November, Schiff said.
"I also think that Bob Mueller on his own can expand his own authority and investigate this", Napolitano said.
Prince also told congressional investigators he did not remember when or where he had a conversation with Steve Bannon, then a senior Trump adviser, during which Bannon told Prince he had met MBZ in NY in December, just weeks before Prince traveled to the Seychelles.
Nader - and the Seychelles meeting - are also of interest to Mueller's team as it examines whether any foreign money or assistance fueled the Trump campaign, and how Trump officials during the transition and early days of the administration communicated with foreign officials, particularly Russians.
Both men participated in the Seychelles meeting, which has reportedly come under scrutiny by Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller as part of his Russian Federation investigation. Anonymous sources have told several outlets the meeting was an attempt to set up a line of communication between the Trump team and Russian Federation.
The meeting between Prince and Dmitriev was originally probed by the FBI as part of its investigation of the Trump campaign's Russian Federation ties before Trump fired former FBI Director James Comey in May 2017.