Late Wednesday night, the Washington Post reported that Special Counsel Robert Mueller has now gathered evidence that the Trump transition team met with Kremlin officials before the inauguration to set up a so-called “back channel” to Russia — a communications corridor between the two countries that skirts normal diplomatic processes and usually the law.
Not only that, but there is plain evidence that the team member who carried out the operation is already on record lying about the meeting during which the channel was established.
Of course, he was the perfect guy to conduct such an affair: The Trump staffer that Mueller has now caught lying is none other than Erik Prince, founder of the mercenary group Blackwater and brother of globally-reviled Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, who had some kind of bad day of her own on Wednesday.
According to the Post:
In January 2017, Erik Prince, the founder of the private security company Blackwater, met with a Russian official close to Russian President Vladimir Putin and later described the meeting to congressional investigators as a chance encounter that was not a planned discussion of U.S.-Russia relations.”
“A witness cooperating with Mueller has told investigators 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, according to the people familiar with the matter, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive matters.”
This isn’t some anonymous source handing info to Mueller, either — it’s George Nader, a businessman who helped arrange the meeting Prince had in Seychelles with Kirill Dmitriev, the head of a Russian government-controlled wealth fund. Nader was actually in attendance at the meeting with Nader and Dmitriev and is providing the information to Mueller as part of his cooperation with the investigation, after being served with a subpoena in January.
Prince could not be reached for comment by the newspaper, and the White House, of course, declined to offer any comments of their own.
Featured image via Ann Heisenfelt/Getty Images