Mueller investigating previously unreported meetings in Seychelles: report
Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team of investigators is looking into a series of meetings in Seychelles in 2017, NJ.com reported Tuesday.
The meetings, which included players from the U.S., Russia, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, have become a key focus in Mueller’s probe and suggest that investigators have become increasingly interested in whether foreign governments, particularly Gulf states, have sought to leverage influence in the Trump administration.
Several of those meetings took place around the same time that Blackwater founder Erik Prince, an ally of the White House, met with Kirill Dmitriev, a wealthy Russian banker, and Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, the de facto ruler of the UAE, in January 2017, NJ.com reported.
The Prince meeting had been previously reported, though the administration has denied that he represented President Trump or the U.S.
Political players from Russia, France, Saudi Arabia and South Africa reportedly flew into the Seychelles, a group of islands in the Indian Ocean, to participate in the meetings, which were part of a larger gathering organized by the crown prince.
In the second week of January 2017, individuals tied to Saudi Arabia’s financial system reportedly traveled to the Seychelles, as well.
Others who traveled to the islands included Dmitriev and his wife, as well as Alexander Mashkevitch, an alleged financier of the real estate development and investment group Bayrock, NJ.com reported.
The exact details of those meetings and what was discussed remain murky.
Mueller’s team has already spoke with George Nader, a Lebanese-American businessman who reportedly helped organize the meeting between Prince, Dmitriev and Zayed.
Mueller is tasked with carrying out a broad investigation into Russian efforts to meddle in the 2016 election and whether members of the Trump campaign conspired with Moscow to help sway the presidential race. The special counsel also has the authority to investigate other issues that may arise during the course of the investigation.
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