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Evidence Of Trump Efforts To Set Up Back Channel With Kremlin

10 March 2018

If confirmed, the nature of the Seychelles meeting would not be the first time the White House has allegedly tried to establish a back-channel with Russian Federation.

The 58-year-old testified before a grand jury last week after he was stopped at Washington Dulles International Airport in January on his way to Mar-a-Lago and served search warrants and a grand jury subpoena, according to two people who spoke to the Times.

GOP members of the committee have been pressing to bring the panel's Russian Federation investigation to a close and issue a report that Democratic members are not likely to endorse.

Prince told lawmakers that the meeting was by chance and lasted only around 30 minutes.

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Rice sought the names of senior Trump officials in order to find out why Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, the crown prince of the UAE, made a decision to visit NY late 2017, she told the committee in a closed-door interview, according to a CNN report at the time. "I remember telling him that if Franklin Roosevelt could work with Josef Stalin to defeat Nazi fascism, then certainly Donald Trump could work with Vladimir Putin to defeat Islamic fascism". The Washington Post reported last week that at least four countries, including the United Arab Emirates, have discussed ways they could compromise Jared Kushner, the President's son-in-law.

Prince said he went to the Seychelles as a private businessman, not as an official or unofficial emissary of the Trump transition team.

If evidence of Trump-Russian collusion emerges from the meeting, it would rebut more than a year of denials from the Trump administration, making it hard if not impossible for even the president's staunchest Republican supporters to argue that his presidency should continue.

A spokesman for the special counsel declined to comment.

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While Mueller is probing the circumstances of the Seychelles meeting, he is also more broadly examining apparent efforts by the Trump transition team to create a back channel for secret talks between the new administration and the Kremlin.

Judge Andrew Napolitano said Thursday that Special Counsel Robert Mueller is being led down new "rabbit holes" in his investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Mueller is investigating what occurred at the meeting, and if money from the Emirates or Russian Federation made its way into the Trump presidential effort.

Representative Adam Schiff said Thursday that he wants George Nader to testify to help clear up inconsistencies with earlier testimony about the same meeting from another witness, Erik Prince, who founded the Blackwater security firm. Representatives for Nader, Dmitriev and the Emirati ambassador haven't commented.

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The UAE agreed to broker the meeting in part to explore whether Russian Federation could be persuaded to curtail its relationship with Iran, including in Syria, a Trump administration objective, according to U.S. European and Arab officials. He said the objective of the meeting was for a Trump representative to meet with a Russian official close to President Vladimir Putin to discuss relations between the two nations. Rosalind Helderman is a political enterprise and investigations reporter for The Washington Post.

Evidence Of Trump Efforts To Set Up Back Channel With Kremlin