The layers of the onion are beginning to peel away in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the links between the Trump administration and the proven Russian interference in the president’s 2016 election.
In an exclusive report, the U.K.’s Daily Mail has learned new details about the meeting in the Seychelles between Trump envoy Erik Prince, the founder of the infamous Blackwater private militia and brother to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, and Kirill Dmitriev, a Russian financier and oligarch close to the Kremlin.
As you may remember, the meeting, which Prince initially described in sworn testimony before the House Intelligence Committee as a meaningless chance encounter, was set up by Mohamed bin Zayed, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi and the de-facto joint ruler of the United Arab Emirates. According to The Daily Mail, the crown prince brought two previously undisclosed colleagues with him to the meeting.
One, Hamad al Mazroie, is the de facto head of the UAE intelligence service, in effect the country’s top spymaster. The other, Mohammed Dahlan, is a Palestinian adviser to bin Zayed who is fluent in Russian and considered his personal emissary to the Kremlin.
Prince did not mention either man in his congressional testimony.
The new details about the meeting and the possible perjury committed by Trump’s “unofficial” envoy emerged only after the arrest and subsequent transformation into state’s witness by Trump campaign aide George Nader, a Lebanese-American businessman and Middle East expert who was present at the carefully planned “chance encounter.”
The White House has denied that Mr. Prince had any official role in their campaign organization, but according to reports, Nader is telling Mueller’s team that the meeting was set up specifically to open a secret back channel communications line with the Kremlin during the presidential transition.