Erik Prince to host fundraiser for pro-Russia lawmaker amid Seychelles scrutiny: report
Erik Prince, the founder of private security company Blackwater, is set to host a fundraiser for Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) at his Virginia home later this month.
CNN reported Thursday that Reps. Tom Garrett Jr. (R-Va.) and Dave Brat (R-Va.) are also expected to attend the fundraiser, as is retired Lt. Colonel Oliver North, a former National Security Council staffer during the Reagan administration who played a role in the Iran-Contra affair. Tickets for the event start at $1,000, and donors giving $2,700 will be invited to VIP event.
Prince and Rohrabacher have been friends for decades. The Blackwater founder worked as an intern for the California Republican in 1990. Rohrabacher also defended Prince when Blackwater, today known as Academi, came under fire after a group of its employees opened fire on Iraqi civilians in 2007, killing 17 and injuring 20.
But the fundraiser comes as Prince, whose sister is Education Secretary Betsey DeVos, faces new questions about a January 2017 meeting in Seychelles with a Russian official.
Robert Mueller, the special counsel who is investigating Russia’s role in the 2016 presidential election, has reportedly gathered evidence that the meeting was part of a plan to set up a back channel between the Trump administration and Moscow.
That revelation appears to contradict what Prince has told lawmakers and the press about the meeting, which he has said was not planned and was ultimately of no importance.
Rohrabacher has long been considered one of the most pro-Russia lawmakers in Congress and has drawn scrutiny from both parties over his warm relations with Russia.