The multitude of investigations into the Trump regime by both law enforcement and congressional committees may have ensnared its first proven perjurer astute readers of The New York Times discovered today.
The newspaper broke the news today of a second secret Trump Tower meeting that may prove as significant as the infamous meeting that Donald Trump Jr. organized with a Russian emissary peddling dirt on Hillary Clinton. That first meeting also included Jared Kushner and Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and spawned a quickly disproven claim issued by the White House that the meeting was set up to discuss Russian adoptions.
The new meeting that The New York Times revealed today also included President Trump’s eldest son, but this time instead of a Russian lawyer, the participants included an Israeli social media manipulation specialist and a representative for two wealthy Arabian nations. It also included private security contractor and major Republican donor Erik Prince, the founder of Blackwater and the brother of Education Secretary Betsy Devos.
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Prince has been the subject of much speculation about his role as a backdoor conduit to Russia after another meeting he attended, a secret rendezvous in the Seychelles with a Russian oligarch with close ties to Vladimir Putin.
The latest meeting with an agent representing both Saudi Arabia and The United Arab Emirates was set up to let the Trump campaign know that the leaders of those two oil-rich nations were eager to help get him elected as president.
The strange bedfellow they brought along to the meeting, Joel Zamel, was the representative of an Israeli company “which employed several Israeli former intelligence officers, specialized in collecting information and shaping opinion through social media,” a strange pairing of Arabs and Israelis working to help Trump win the White House.
While reporters who wrote the story for The New York Times go into great detail about the content of the meeting and how it was arranged, it took Mother Jones to point out the perjury implications the story held for Prince whom the newspaper credits for setting the meeting up.
The founder of the now-renamed Blackwater Security Company, which was tried for the killing of 14 Iraqi civilians while on a security detail in Baghdad, gave sworn testimony to the House Intelligence Committee last November “that he had no formal communication or contact with the Trump campaign, other than occasionally sending “papers” on foreign policy matters to Steve Bannon, who became head of the Trump campaign in August.”
Rep. Tom Rooney (R-FL) asked Prince directly during the hearing according to transcripts:
“So there was no other formal communication or contact with the campaign?”
“Correct,” Prince replied.
Today’s latest revelations prove that statement to be an outright lie under oath to Congress, an act considered perjury, a criminal felony with a penalty of up to five years in prison. In fact, even if Prince was not under oath, it a federal crime to “knowingly and willfully” give “materially” false statements to Congress, with exactly the same penalty.
What happens next is the big question. With the House Intelligence Committee under the control of Trump toadying loyalist Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), it’s doubtful Prince will face any repercussions as long a Republicans continue to command a majority in the lower chamber of Congress.
Once the midterms come into play, however, that situation may change drastically. Of course, there’s also the question of what Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his team of investigators already know about Prince’s activities on behalf of the campaign and what role he played as an intermediary with foreign interests seeking to influence our electoral process.
Stay tuned for more details to emerge and for more distractionary tactics from the Oval office to distract the public from the latest evidence of collusion that ups the number of countries involved in illegally interfering in our elections twofold.
Follow Vinnie Longobardo on Twitter.