Top Dem recommends criminal perjury charge for Erik Prince

    U.S. House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said on a live video interview Tuesday morning with the Washington Post that his panel would make a criminal referral about allegedly false testimony given by West Michigan native Erik Prince.

    Prince, the brother of President Trump’s Education secretary, Betsy DeVos, founded the private military firm Blackwater. As the Advance reported earlier this month, Prince’s contacts with Russia were highlighted in the redacted version of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on 2016 election interference.

    Schiff said the Intelligence Committee would make the referral to the U.S. Justice Department because “the evidence is so weighty.”

    The congressman said “the evidence strongly suggests that he willingly mislead our committee.” However, the Post notes that “neither the Senate nor the House intelligence committees know … whether he struck a deal” with Mueller.

    Donald Trump Jr. at the rally in Grand Rapids, March 28, 2019 | Nick Manes

    The redacted version of Mueller’s report released said Prince participated in a clandestine meeting in the Seychelles before Trump took office in January 2017 with Kirill Dmitriev, a Russian banker who reports “directly” to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

    Details of the meetings between Prince, Nader and Dmitriev are outlined in a lengthy section of the report, which included several redactions.

    According to Mueller, the purpose of the meeting was to establish a backchannel between the Russian government and incoming administration officials. The report describes Prince as an associate of those in Trump’s orbit, including his son, Donald Trump Jr., former adviser Steve Bannon and longtime adviser Roger Stone.

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    Susan J. Demas is a 19-year journalism veteran and one of the state’s foremost experts on Michigan politics, appearing on MSNBC, CNN, NPR and WKAR-TV’s “Off the Record.” In addition to serving as Editor-in-Chief, she is the Advance’s chief columnist, writing on women, LGBTQs, the state budget, the economy and more. Most recently, she served as Vice President of Farough & Associates, Michigan’s premier political communications firm. For almost five years, Susan was the Editor and Publisher of Inside Michigan Politics, the most-cited political newsletter in the state. Susan’s award-winning political analysis has run in more than 80 national, international and regional media outlets, including the Guardian U.K., NBC News, the New York Times, the Detroit News and MLive. She is the only Michigan journalist to be named to the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Reporters,” the Huffington Post’s list of “Best Political Tweeters” and the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Bloggers.” Susan was the recipient of a prestigious Knight Foundation fellowship in nonprofits and politics. She served as Deputy Editor for MIRS News and helped launch the Michigan Truth Squad, the Center for Michigan’s fact-checking project. She started her journalism career reporting on the Iowa caucuses for The (Cedar Rapids) Gazette. Susan has hiked over 3,000 solo miles across four continents and climbed more than 60 mountains. She also enjoys dragging her husband and two teenagers along, even if no one else wants to sleep in a tent anymore.

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