Nunes met with Russia probe witness after backing away from probe

California Rep. Devin Nunes met with Blackwater founder Erik Prince, a witness in ongoing Russian election meddling probes, regardless of stepping again from the investigation.

Prince’s testimony to the Home Intelligence Committee was launched Wednesday, and confirmed his denials of any impropriety in assembly a Russian authorities banker throughout a January go to to the Seychelles.

The businessman additionally denied holding the assembly as a consultant of the Trump transition, underneath scrutiny after a Washington Publish report that it was making an attempt to arrange a backchannel to the Kremlin earlier than the inauguration.

Prince lashed out towards the looks of his identify in that report, and spent a big chunk of his testimony discussing the “unmasking” of Americans whose names are usually stored secret in overseas intelligence stories.

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He additionally acknowledged speaking concerning the matter with Nunes, who appeared to recuse himself from the committee this April after he briefed the White Home on categorised intelligence with out his colleagues.

Nunes has since began his personal look into the unmasking, which former Nationwide Safety Adviser Susan Rice reportedly stated she did with a view to higher perceive an unannounced go to to New York by the crown prince of the United Arab Emirates final yr.

Prince, who stated he didn’t obtain an unique request for testimony within the Russia probe despatched again in Might, advised committee members that he talked to Nunes about Afghanistan in late summer time or early autumn.

Blackwater founder Erik Prince arrives for a closed meeting with members of the House Intelligence Committee last Thursday.

Blackwater founder Erik Prince arrives for a closed assembly with members of the Home Intelligence Committee final Thursday.

(Jacquelyn Martin/AP)

Whereas many took Nunes’ April announcement as a full recusal, they’ve been stunned by his continued exercise and his assertions that he had solely momentarily backed down.

“I can do no matter I would like, I am the chairman of the committee,” he informed CNN in June. “I voluntarily, briefly stepped apart from main the investigation.”

Prince didn’t reveal the content material of his dialog with Nunes aside from that it handled Afghanistan and the unmasking.

Nunes subpoenaed the FBI in August for details about the file on President Trump compiled by a former British spy Christopher Steele, which incorporates allegations of collusion between…

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