Special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerSenate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel MORE's team has reportedly heard testimony that appears at odds with answers Blackwater founder Erik Prince gave to the House Intelligence Committee about a meeting he attended with a Russian executive before President TrumpDonald TrumpTexas announces election audit in four counties after Trump demand Schumer sets Monday showdown on debt ceiling-government funding bill Pennsylvania AG sues to block GOP subpoenas in election probe MORE's inauguration.
A witness has told Mueller's team that Prince hadn’t been introduced to a Russian businessman by associates from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), contradicting Prince’s testimony, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.
George Nader, a UAE adviser who has emerged as a key figure in Mueller’s probe, told Mueller that the UAE officials at the meeting in Seychelles didn’t introduce Prince and Russian executive Kirill Dmitriev, as Prince had stated.
Prince, who founded the private security company formerly known as Blackwater, today known as Academi, had testified before the House Intelligence Committee that the meeting was by chance and had been set up by a UAE official.
The Washington Post reported Wednesday that Mueller has evidence showing that the meeting in the Seychelles between Prince and the Russian officials was set up to create a back channel between the Trump administration and the Kremlin.
Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffJan. 6 panel subpoenas four ex-Trump aides Bannon, Meadows Schiff: Criminal contempt charges possible for noncooperation in Jan. 6 probe The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - Biden jumps into frenzied Dem spending talks MORE (Calif.), the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, had questioned earlier Thursday whether Prince had misled lawmakers last fall during his testimony about the meeting.
“That allegation if true would be very disturbing, considering that using Russian diplomatic facilities for a back channel would only be designed to hide those communications — not from the Russian government but from our own government,” Schiff said.
Schiff also said that he wants Prince to return before the committee and hand over documents that he had promised to share with lawmakers.
Prince, whose sister is Education Secretary Betsy DeVosBetsy DeVosGOP lawmakers urge Cardona against executive student loan wipeout More insidious power grab than one attempted Jan. 6? Betsy DeVos not running for Michigan governor MORE, had described the meeting as informal during his testimony.
“It was a matter of, ‘Hey, while you’re here, there’s a Russian guy that we’ve done some business with in the past, and it’d be interesting for you to meet him,’” Prince told lawmakers at the time.
Spokespeople for Prince and the special counsel both declined to comment to the Journal. The White House did not return a request for comment, and the Journal could not reach Nader.