Former Blackwater head to meet with House intel panel

Former Blackwater head to meet with House intel panel
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The former head of the private security contractor Blackwater is set to testify before the House Intelligence Committee next week as part of the panel's investigation into Russia's role in the 2016 election.

Erik Prince, who is also the brother of Education Secretary Betsy DeVosElizabeth (Betsy) Dee DeVosFailed charter schools cost federal government almost 5M in nine years: report Pelosi gets standing ovation at Kennedy Center Honors On The Money: Economy adds 266K jobs in strong November | Lawmakers sprint to avoid shutdown | Appropriators to hold crucial talks this weekend | Trump asks Supreme Court to halt Deutsche Bank subpoenas MORE, will meet with the committee in an "Open Hearing in a Closed Space" on Nov. 30, the panel announced this week.

The Washington Post reported in April that the United Arab Emirates arranged a meeting between Prince and a Russian close to Russian President Vladimir Putin in the weeks before President Trump's inauguration.

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The purpose of that meeting was to reportedly establish backchannel communications between then-President-elect Trump and the Russian government, according to the newspaper.

The House Intelligence Committee is one of three congressional panels looking into Russian efforts to meddle in the 2016 presidential election. 

Prince, a former Navy SEAL, established Blackwater in 1997. The security contractor came under fire in 2007 after company officials were charged and later convicted of killing 14 Iraqi civilians.

The New York Times reported last month that former White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon has encouraged Prince to mount a Senate bid in Wyoming to challenge Sen. John BarrassoJohn Anthony BarrassoLife after Yucca Mountain: The time has come to reset US nuclear waste policy Trump announces restart to Taliban peace talks in surprise Afghanistan visit Centrist Democrats seize on state election wins to rail against Warren's agenda MORE (R-Wyo.) in 2018.