Monday 26 August 2019

'Weighty evidence' sees Democrats seek action against Donald's backer


Erik Prince on Capitol Hill in Washington. Photo: Reuters
Erik Prince on Capitol Hill in Washington. Photo: Reuters

Karla DeWintourz

Adam Schiff, the head of the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee, has said he will be sending a criminal referral to the Justice Department over the conduct of Donald Trump-backer Erik Prince.

Democrat Mr Schiff said there was evidence Mr Prince, who founded the now defunct Blackwater security firm, had willingly misled the committee.

He refused to say whether the panel also planned to submit referrals for President Trump's son-in-law and White House adviser Jared Kushner and Mr Trump's son Donald Trump Jr.

"The evidence is so weighty the Justice Department needs to consider this," Mr Schiff said. Part of the evidence was a meeting nine days before Mr Trump took office in January 2017, between Mr Prince and a Russian financier close to Russian President Vladi­mir Putin in the Seychelles islands.

Mr Prince told officials examining Russia's interference in the presidential election in November 2017 the meeting happened by chance and was not taken at the behest of the incoming administration, testimony Mr Schiff and the Democrats believe was false.

Investigators from Robert Mueller's probe into Russian interference are said to have received a different version of the Seychelles meeting from Mr Prince to his sworn testimony to the committee.

Irish Independent

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