March 7, 2018

Just about a year ago, news broke that Erik Prince had gone to the Seychelles to broker a secret communications channel for Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin to communicate. At the time of the report, Prince denied it vehemently before admitting that yes, he had a meeting but it was just incidental, nothing to see here.

Indeed, it appears there was something to see there.

The Washington Post reports that Robert Mueller is gathering evidence that the January, 2017 meeting in question was indeed intended to establish backchannel communications between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin before Trump was sworn into office.

Prince had previously told legislative investigators and the media that his Seychelles meeting with Kirill Dmitriev, the head of a Russian government-controlled wealth fund, "was an unplanned, unimportant encounter that came about by chance because he happened to be at a luxury hotel in the Indian Ocean island nation with officials from the United Arab Emirates," according to the Post.

Prince told the House Intelligence Commitee, “At the end, one of the entourage says, ‘Hey, by the way, there’s this Russian guy that we’ve dealt with in the past. He’s here also to see someone from the Emirati delegation. 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.’ ”

After George Nader's testimony, investigators think the Seychelles meeting could have been one of the initial efforts to establish a line of communication between Russian president Vladimir Putin and the not-yet inaugurated Donald Trump. Nader, according to The Post, has given Mueller's team "key evidence -- but not the only evidence -- about what transpired in the Seychelles."

All of which leads us to wonder whether Prince will blame "permanent seditious bureaucrats" for the mountain of legal problems he looks to be facing. Lying to Congress is a crime. So is lying to federal investigators.

Watch this space.

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