Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Erik Prince,

Erik Prince, former chairman of the Prince Group, LLC and Blackwater USA, testifies during a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on Capitol Hill. (Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Mueller Reportedly Has Documents Contradicting Erik Prince's Version of Seychelles Meeting With Russian Official

A key witness claims "one of the primary goals" of Prince's 2017 meeting with a Kremlin-connected businessman was to "establish a line of communication between the Russian government and the incoming Trump administration."

Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is leading the probe into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. elections, has reportedly obtained documents challenging the veracity of Blackwater founder Erik Prince's testimony to Congress about his January 2017 meeting with a Kremlin-connected businessman.

Mueller's investigation includes examining claims that the 2017 meeting in Seychelles between Prince—the brother of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and an adviser to the Trump transition team—and Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of the Russian government's $10 billion sovereign wealth fund, was part of an effort to establish a back channel between the Russian government and members of the incoming Trump administration.  

Last month, the Washington Post reported that George Nader—a Lebanese-American businessman who supposedly played a key part in arranging the meeting—had told Mueller's investigators and a grand jury that, as the Post summarized, "the meeting was set up in advance so that a representative of the Trump transition could meet with an emissary from Moscow to discuss future relations between the countries."

Citing sources familiar with the probe, ABC News reported on Friday:

Nader has submitted to three interviews with special counsel investigators and four appearances before a federal grand jury in Washington since agents stopped him at Dulles International Airport in January, served him with a grand jury subpoena and seized his electronic devices, including his cell phone.

Documents obtained by Mueller suggest that before and after Prince met Nader in New York a week before the trip to the Seychelles, Nader shared information with Prince about Dmitriev, sources familiar with the investigation told ABC News, which appears to be inconsistent with Princeis sworn testimony before a U.S. House of Representatives investigative panel.

Testifying before the House's Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence in November, Prince claimed he was in Seychelles to meet with business officals from the United Arab Emirates, and that one of those officials had casually introduced him to Dmitriev.

"I didn't fly there to meet any Russian guy," Prince told the committee. "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.'"

Prior to his Congressional testimony, Prince had told CNN that he couldn't even recall the name of the Russian man he had met with in Seychells, and that their meeting "probably lasted about as long as one beer."

However, ABC reports that Nader met Prince at New York's Pierre Hotel and sent him biographical information noting that Dmitriev's role overseeing Russia's sovereign wealth fund ahead of the Seychelles meeting, which Nader claims to have "facilitated and personally attended."

"One of the primary goals of the meeting, Nader told investigators, was to discuss foreign policy and to establish a line of communication between the Russian government and the incoming Trump administration," according to the ABC report.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.
We need your help.

Support progressive journalism.

Common Dreams is not your average news site. We don't survive on clicks or advertising dollars. We rely entirely on your support. And without it, our independent progressive journalism simply wouldn’t exist. Every gift of every amount matters.

Join the fight and support our common dreams today.

UN General Assembly Condemns Myanmar Junta Violence, Urges Arms Embargo

Member nations voted 119-1 in favor of the resolution, which also calls for a return to the country's fragile democracy.

Brett Wilkins, staff writer ·


Dems Introduce Abolition Amendment to Scrap Constitution's 'Slavery Clause'

"The loophole in our Constitution's ban on slavery not only allowed slavery to continue, but launched an era of discrimination and mass incarceration that continues to this day," said Sen. Jeff Merkley.

Julia Conley, staff writer ·


'Surreal' and 'Distressing': Climate Experts' Predictions Come True With US Heatwave

"The current heatwave and drought leave no doubt, we are living the dangerous effects of the climate crisis."

Jessica Corbett, staff writer ·


94% of Americans Oppose Big Pharma's Control of Global Covid-19 Vaccine Doses: Poll

Half of U.S. adults also consider it unacceptable that pharmaceutical corporations, which monopolized dose production, have profited substantially from vaccines developed using public funding.

Kenny Stancil, staff writer ·


'Counseling Not Criminalization' Bill Unveiled to Boot Police From US Schools

"For too long our education system has been intertwined with the criminal legal system and the results have been tragic."

Andrea Germanos, staff writer ·