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.
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.