Multiple cooperating witnesses have helped speed up the criminal investigation into Blackwater founder and Trump ally Erik Prince, the Wall Street Journal reports.
The Justice Department is reportedly reviewing whether to charge Prince with making false statements to Congress due to November 2017 testimony he gave to the House Intelligence Committee, and with violating the International Trafficking in Arms Regulations.
It’s not clear at what stage of the charging process prosecutors currently find themselves. House Intelligence Committee Chair Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) issued a criminal referral for Prince in April 2019, saying that the Mueller report substantially contradicted the sworn testimony that the Blackwater founder gave to the panel.
The Justice Department replied to Schiff last week, telling the lawmaker that it would refer the request “to the proper investigative agency.”
Prince allegedly misled lawmakers about the circumstances of a January 2017 Seychelles meeting with Russian Direct Investment Fund chief Kirill Dmitriev.
Also attending that summit was George Nader, the U.S.-Middle East middleman who pleaded guilty in January to child pornography charges. Nader faces separate campaign finance charges regarding contributions he made to pro-Hillary Clinton political groups; he had pleaded not guilty in that case.
The arms allegations reportedly focus on a pitch Prince made to the UAE to supply the gulf state armed aircraft.
Matthew L. Schwartz, an attorney for Prince, told TPM in a statement that “there is nothing new here.”
“Erik Prince’s House testimony has been public for more than a year, and was available at all times that Mr. Prince met with the Department of Justice during the Special Counsel’s investigation,” Schwartz added.