Will the secret Seychelles meeting be what brings down Trump?

Will the secret Seychelles meeting be what brings down Trump?

The House intelligence committee should speak with two individuals who attended a secret meeting in the Seychelles with a Russian official in January 2017, the panel's top Democrat said Thursday amid new reports about what transpired during the secret tête-à-tête.

Last year, Prince told lawmakers - and the news media - that his Seychelles meeting with Kirill Dmitriev, the head of a Russian government-controlled wealth fund, was an unplanned, unimportant encounter that came about by chance because he happened to be at a luxury hotel in the Indian Ocean island nation with officials from the United Arab Emirates.

The Post, citing unidentified people familiar with the matter, said a witness cooperating with special counsel Robert Mueller told investigators that the meeting was held so that a representative of Trump's transition team could "meet with an emissary from Moscow to discuss future relations between the countries".

Before Congress, Prince denied that the meeting was nefarious or even planned, and only lasted as long as it took the two men to drink a beer together.

The meeting was known to American intelligence previous year, but it mystified them until Nader provided the details.

Prince had described the meeting as informal during his testimony.

The Washington Post said that 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 with the Kremlin.

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Schiff's push for new witnesses comes amid hints the committee could be winding down its investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

The UAE brokered the meeting in an effort to get Moscow to distance itself from Iran in exchange for the U.S.to ease sanctions on Russian Federation, according to the Post.

George Nader, a former associate of White House adviser and presidential son-in-law Jared Kushner that frequented the West Wing in the early days of the Trump administration, was once arrested for possession of child pornography in the 1980's.

Based on information it has gathered, Mueller's office claimed that the meeting between Prince and Dmitriev had in fact been premeditated, and was meant to coordinate an eventual meeting between a representative of Trump's transition team and a Russian Federation emissary.

"I don't know whether the public reports of what Nader is saying are accurate, but if they are, there's clearly a significant discrepancy between that version and what we heard in Erik Prince's testimony", Schiff said. According to The Post, Emirati officials were indeed under the impression that Prince was representing Trump at the meeting.

While there is no indication that Nader is suspected of wrongdoing, his knowledge of key meetings involving the Emiratis and others could be helpful to the special counsel in understanding the inner workings of the transition and possible efforts to influence key figures in the administration.

The Washington Post said the U.A.E. agreed to broker the meeting in part to explore whether Russian Federation could be persuaded to curtail its close relationship with Iran - a key objective of both the Trump administration and several Gulf Arab countries. Rosalind Helderman is a political enterprise and investigations reporter for The Washington Post.

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